Monday, December 29, 2008

What happens in Athens...

... does not stay in Athens ...

And revolt is everywhere, even close to home.

A Greek interviewed with Crimethinc said that some of their best direct and indirect organizing methods included indymedia and word-of-mouth. Even though the aim of the media has been to downplay insurrection, indeed, to suppress it by all sophisticated means available, it has not succeeded. Even the most tolerant of the bourgeois media such as the BBC sees its role as protective. And while some resort to name-calling, others have adopted a policy of 'no coverage'.

Curiously, the Greek National Council of Radio and Television announced during the first week of the Greek uprising that its media networks needed to:

"avoid viewing scenes of extreme violence and incidents in a way that can be interpreted as an encouraging demonstration of extreme antisocial behavior."

It goes without saying the death of the author was somehow overlooked, and now they're just being obnoxious. Anti-social behavior, such as striving towards a non-hierarchical society, will not be televised. "... Journalism is not simply a matter of switching on the cameras and letting them roll. You have to think about what you're broadcasting," said Jean-Claude Dassier from the LCI news service in France - one of France's largest TV news networks. He said during the Autumn 2005 riots in France's suburbs that LCI would not "fan the flames of violence" by broadcasting the images. So they fanned the flames of obedience and viewed nothing.

That is not a novel idea, to encourage obedience, nor one that comes only from the newscasters. A document from France's Parliamentary Assembly called Riots in European Cities: lessons and the Council of Europe response echoes the same "concern". The assembly reported it needed to research the alleged link between media coverage and riots,

"...with a particular focus on the long-term consequences of limited or recurrent coverage of violent riots in the media and in some countries the no coverage as a policy of government."

The French Parliamentary Assembly admits that no coverage could lead to further human rights abuses in some places. But it seems open to the possibility of pursuing the policy in liberal democratic regimes.

In light of this tendency, the revolution will be blogged.
During the revolution, you will be put in the driver's seat. Don't hate the media - be the media.

[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.

- Thomas Carlyle, the Hero as Man of Letters

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