A bunch of my friends have posted the above video as an antidote to the focus on the violent riots that have shaken Toronto during the G20 Summit over the past weekend.
I quite like the video, but if people think the media ignored the fact that protests were mostly peaceful I don’t know what they were watching or reading.
I know, I’m biased – I work for the media. But I also consume media with some degree of perception, and know a bit about how this stuff works.
I was proud of the job journalists did on this summit: everyone from TVO to CBC CTV to CP24 to the Globe, the Star, and yes, The Sun made the point that peaceful protest is a fundamental value in Canada; questioned the need for the kind of police presence we saw; strongly objected to the amount of money spent; and questioned tactics vigorously.
I’ve never seen the media so united in their disapproval on a single issue as they were about the G20 Summit in Toronto. And not just the local media, either, though I plainly saw more of that than anything else. Kudos to the New York Times for capturing Toronto’s terrible weekend well, and asking precisely the sorts of questions that Canadians want authorities to answer.
Moreover, several reporters were arrested, one was beaten, and media vehicles were smashed.
AND… across boundaries of rivalry and ownership, reporters and bloggers retweeted and referred to one another’s work in a way that was unprecedented in my experience.
The peaceful protests weren’t ignored. They are just not as interesting to viewers and readers as World Cup matches.
And it’s not the media to blame for that: it’s the viewers, and especially the vandals who hijacked democratic demonstrations for their own pathetic reasons.