Connect with us

Breaking News

Why Peaceful Protests Get No Coverage



Protest After George Floyd's Death | Why Peaceful Protests Get No Coverage | Featured

Recent demonstrations against the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers have been problematic for many reasons, not least of which in their media coverage. Around the world, the media has focused almost exclusively on the destructive elements of the protests instead of peaceful ones. Many have varying motives for doing so.

Looting Overshadows Peaceful Demonstrations

From Chicago to San Francisco, the nation has seen protesters take to the streets in massive numbers. Audiences around the world have seen Americans looting, fighting amongst themselves, hurling racial insults, and facing off against law enforcement. Conspicuously absent from this coverage are the millions of Americans who have assembled peacefully to legally express their anger at Floyd’s death and the larger issues it represents.

The protests tend to follow a similar pattern across different cities. Peaceful, cathartic gatherings take place during the day. During these gatherings, participants voice their anger, and often have encouraging interactions with police. During the night, these peaceful demonstrations give way to a more chaotic, violent, and destructive atmosphere. This leaves communities to pick up the pieces the next day.

Almost invariably, the part of this cycle that makes the 6 o’clock news is the violent one. Peaceful protests receive almost no coverage.

One obvious reason for this lack of coverage is that it doesn’t sell. As we all know, good news is no news. Sensationalist reporting attracts viewers, and in an increasingly competitive, partisan, and profit-driven media environment, reporting on national crises is the order of the day. This is especially true when there is an opportunity to spin such tragedy for political gain.

Protests Further Political Agendas

Across the political spectrum, the violent demonstrations are also being used to further agendas, conservative and liberal alike. Conservative outlets have used the instability to criticize the liberal platform, and to come down on Democratic leaders who have been soft in their response to the destructive activity.

Liberal media have used the same events to push a different narrative: one of an incompetent president who is deaf to the pleas of his people and feckless in his response to disasters. In no great departure from their usual coverage, liberal media have been blistering in their critiques of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic. Recent instability across the country adds fuel to the fire.

For both liberal and conservative media, it serves a purpose to paint a country in a state of violent chaos.

A Propaganda Boon for US Adversaries

The eruptions of violence across the United States also play into the hands of nations seeking to undermine America’s reputation and moral credibility. From China to Iran, adversary nations are capitalizing on racial tensions to paint America as a racist, lawless, violent country.

Recently, a Chinese foreign official tweeted three words to pour salt on American wounds: “I can’t breathe”.

Chinese media specifically have sought to create a juxtaposition between the Chinese and American abilities to preserve domestic law and order. Similar to its coverage of the pandemic, the Chinese objective is to tout the supremacy of the Chinese political system over liberal democratic norms.

Iran has also attempted to pile onto the domestic challenges facing the United States. The country’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted, “Some don't think #BlackLivesMatter. To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to answer Zarif with a biting retort. He said, “You hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews,” on his own Twitter account.

Russia Today, a popular news outlet linked to the Russian government, has provided nonstop video coverage of Americans rioting. Often, the videos depict brutal attacks along racial lines, with the likely intention to further stoke racial tensions.

Where to Go From Here?

The world is entering a new period of economic, geopolitical, and ideological competition. At the same time, the United States is experiencing one of its most challenging domestic periods in generations. To start the decade, the US has received a triple blow of economic distress, social unrest, and a nearly unprecedented public health emergency. In weathering this storm, balanced coverage of the facts on the ground will help us to see the big picture. It will also help avoid furthering the efforts of our adversaries to paint a country in turmoil.

Up Next:

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2022 Breaking News Alerts. This copyrighted material may not be republished without express permission. The information presented here is for general educational purposes only. MATERIAL CONNECTION DISCLOSURE: You should assume that this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the persons or businesses mentioned in or linked to from this page and may receive commissions from purchases you make on subsequent web sites. You should not rely solely on information contained in this email to evaluate the product or service being endorsed. Always exercise due diligence before purchasing any product or service. This website contains advertisements.