People's Voice: Occupy Wall Street

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Has Iran Covered OWS better than MSM?

Occupy Wall Street started as a movement many in the mainstream media did not cover. In fact, Occupiers themselves began wondering why CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and others like The New York Times took long enough to substantively cover the protests. However, when the mainstream media outlets were rightfully criticized for their non-coverage, they decided to instead focus on their non-coverage of the protest, and made silly excuses for their slow response

Columnists at well-regarded news outlets who chose to respond concluded that there were plenty of great reasons not to cover Occupy Wall Street. In delineating those reasons throughout this week, they got to write at length about the protestors’ quirks and shortcomings, making their defense of non-coverage of a protest read a lot like colorful coverage of a protest

Of course, Jon Stewart had an astute analysis of the mainstream media’s behavior with only having two settings for their coverage – blackout or portraying the protesters as a “circus”. Fortunately, for those interested in Occupy Wall Street there are other options to get our news especially with the rise in new media, and citizen journalism.  

However, for those of us who still watch the news on television or online from “traditional” sources, there was one news outlet that broadcast-ed and included in their headlines, news from Occupy movement almost everyday since the protests started: PressTV, Iranian state owned news network (RT covered OWS as well but my focus here is specifically on Iran). 

As I watched PressTV online, I kept wondering why they covered OWS better than our mainstream media, and realized it stemmed from politics as usual – from us tenaciously covering their Green Revolution and focusing on the death of Neda Agha Soltan and named her a ‘martyr’ and face of the revolution. And thus leading to Iran returning the favor, but from that reciprocal-treatment (tit-for-tat riff) from our sensationalization of their Green Revolution, they filled a void that was need, and was blacked-out from our major news outlets. 

The most important aspect of this is that both countries want to highlight the other’s human rights violations of protesters, and do a good job at it too. There is no doubt that Iran violated protester’s rights and continue to suppress the press however at the same we need to pay attention to our rhetoric when we condemn their actions and follow our own advice that we give abroad, domestically.


Here is a screen-shot from PressTV that puts OWS-related news under the “Democracy and Human Rights” section, clearly they see OWS as a human right, we should also see OWS as a human right, and condemn police brutality, and let the people exercise their first amendment right. If we strive and stay consistent with our rhetoric we can become that beacon in the world for democracy to flourish. 

Filed under Iranian coverage Press amal bias media occupy Wall Street Iranian perspective