22 Nov 2011

A war waged with megapixels

In my previous post, Journalism 2.0 vs. Propaganda 1.0, I tried to explain how the mainstream media can (and does) hide, obfuscate or skew what the public views and hears via the News.

The analogy would be: A tree falls in the forest. Nobody hears it (and it's not in the News). Ergo, it never happened.

Now we shall see Journalism 2.0 at work.

From the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea to the Green Zone in Baghdad, and Zuccotti Park in New York to Tahrir Square (again) in Cairo, every place on earth it would seem is under some form of disputed occupation - and it is getting near-impossible to keep tabs on it all... But the recent pepper-spraying of students sitting peacefully on a sidewalk at UC Davis (first video below) - and the students' brilliant 'wall of silence' revenge trageting the UC Davis Chancellor afterwards (second video below) offers something of an insight.

Watch the students of US Davis (after being pepper-sprayed) force police in riot-gear to retreat using just their voices and their video cameras...

Later, the students of UC Davis use complete silence but keep their video cameras rolling in order to shame the Chancellor as she takes, probably, the longest walk she ever took to her car...

It seems the "weapon of choice" for today's generation is a video camera!

Videos of the incidents (in all its versions and interpretations) have been seen by millions. The action of the students and the police are now subject of intense discussions.

The analogy now would be: A tree falls in the forest. Nobody hears it (and it's not in the News). Ergo, it never happened. But wait, someone's posted a video of the tree falling/fallen. Now we all know what happened.

And now that we know it happened, we can have an frank discourse on the whys, hows and wherefores...

There is an excellent article titled: "What George Orwell Can Teach Us About OWS and Police Brutality" over at The Atlantic website.

The writer's astute analysis on why overly-armed police resort to disproportionate and uncalled-for force in non-threatening situations is based on a predictably rich short story by George Orwell, called Shooting an Elephant.

You may have read the above article (and possibly made a mental/digital note to read the short story, later). You see now how Journalism 2.0 can be not just about informing - but enlightening as well.

I think we might need it for humanity to evolve higher.

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