When news came down that Zuccotti was going to be raided on Monday night, a template for a media blackout had already been set up previously. In Boston, the “Night of the Long Batons” saw an evacuation of mainstream media and only the boldest citizen journalists remained.
What happened in Manhattan was just like that, though on a much, much grander scale. It was soon clear, early Tuesday morning, that the city had blocked off reports, grounded news helicopters and then simply started to arrest reporters. In Boston, they were cordoned to one side of the street. In New York City, any attempt to cover the action was squashed. Sometimes literally.
The night began as most nights like this: The Livestream /occupynyc was inside the park, broadcasting dramatic images of the dismantling of the occupation. Cops in riot gear, roughing up protesters who shouted at them “you don’t have to do this,” and so forth. You know, the usual. Then Twitter simply exploded. A second stream, this time via Ustream.tv, was set up, from a citizen journalist coming out of a meeting further north. As he traveled south towards Zuccotti, “@Iwilloccupy” spoke to ousted occupiers, police and concerned citizens. Meanwhile, from @blogdiva:
The police have blocked all entrances. They are not allowing press in.
And this, from @NewYorkObserver:
Here we credentialed photogs from NYT, WSJ and Reuters they’re also being barred from #occupywallstreet @occupyinfo
Giant TV news channel WCBS, the flagship station of the Columbia Broadcast System, had its chopper in the air. This was as close as a corporate video would get. “Hundreds of police in park dismantling all tents,” said a reporter inside the camp, from @DemocracyNow. “Medic tent just taken down.” As CBS shot from its helicopter above Manhattan we watched as the occupiers chanted on a new LiveStream now (/wato99spot): “All day / All Week / Occupy Wall Street.”
CBS chopper was panning over to a ship docked in the Hudson River.
“Don’t fucking touch me!!!” yelled a woman being roughed up by the police on /occupynyc, “They’re moving in slowly, tearing things down!” someone else said on video. Tweets were now firing with reports of three different Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) being deployed within the area.
Ustream.tv/cbsnews now carried a static shot of the Capitol building in Washington, DC.
WCBS expects live feed from #ZuccottiPark to resume after chopper refuels, but NYPD trying to clear air space #ows
Needless to say, the live feed never resumed because the police had forced them to clear the airspace. And it got worse from there, as reporters themselves started to get arrested. “The square is in total lockdown,” @PennyRed reported, “@jmalsin of the New York Times being arrested with others.” Almost mockingly, Michael Tracey of The Nation, Mother Jones and others, tweeted: “Absolutely no way for press to document anything in the park. AP reporter worriedly roaming the perimeter.”
@KeithOlbermann of the Current TV network was fully in the mix as well, albeit just on the Twitter stream. His observations were mostly media criticism [Hey, that’s our shtick!—Ed.]. He points out the first live TV coverage from TimeWarner-owned NY1 is simply a simulcast of the LiveStream. Here Olbermann is again at 4am:
NY1 finally gets live shot up from Bway at Maiden Lane. It’s all cops in riot gear, barricades. Good work NY1 #Occupy
As his official “primary substitute anchor,” David Shuster (@DavidShuster) points out:
Historic shift in live TV news. 24 hour cable newsers in repeats. But @RawStory has live stream of raid on OWS.
For more on the blackout, search for #mediablackout.
It’s an overused phrase, but poet and visionary Gil Scott-Heron was right when he said “The Revolution Will not be Televised.”
It will be LiveStreamed, Retweeted, Twitpic’d and uploaded to Yfrog.
IT SEEMS THE HIRING FREEZE has been lifted in journalism! After last week’s report that the Ryan Seacrest-obsessed Sara Gaynes was taken on at the Boston Herald, NBC reports their newest anchor is … Chelsea Clinton! She joins the likes of Jenna Bush Hader (daughter of W.) on the Peacock network.
So stay peppy, Next Great Generators of the world, all you need to do to get a job in journalism is become the offspring of a former President of the United States.
TIPS? THOUGHTS? THINK WE SUCK? MEDIAFARM@DIGPUBLISHING.COM OR @MEDIAFARM
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