(The News Lens)
I think it was especially important in the first days. Because some mainstream media at the time was using the term “mobsters”; accusing the people breaking in for having violent fights, drinking beer, and a lot of that kind of slander in the first couple of days.
Because we had full, real-time footage of the duration of the occupation and also on the different streets. And again the transcripts and the text flowed faster on social media than mainstream reporters’ video feed and sensationalist headlines. So by organizing the movement’s own Facebook pages — the Black Island page, the Anti-Black Box page, g0v’s page — we reached an audience comparable to that of any mainstream media. Then it was a contest between the two media systems as to how influential they can be over people’s imaginations of the occupy movement.
What we did was not first-hand reporting — it was “zero-hand” reporting, because it was archived as soon as it was transmitted, in real time. In this kind of reporting architecture, the reality itself is speaking to the audience. It became much more convincing than any of the framing that the mainstream media was able to do in the first couple of days. People were able to see it “as is.” After people see it “as is,” they might want to join on the street and check with their own eyes that this really is what is showing in the live streams.
After two or three days, the people occupying and the people participating on the street also “occupied” the media, in the sense they were able to obtain agenda-setting power. The mainstream media then set up livestream stations next to us, and sharing with us the same overall architecture.
By the end of the occupation, all the equipment was upgraded by anonymous donors. Professional media also donated a lot of equipment to ensure a stable, high-quality feed. However, the overall architecture was always determined by people who participated in the occupation.