Give the media a break on G20

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.

3 comments on “Give the media a break on G20

  1. Awesome. Thanks for posting your own opinion. This is why i click on your link. You would have to live in a hole to not know twitter. It is the lowest end of social media only slightly above facebook. (btw i have accounts at both and i have also read the inquirer)

    to the article at hand. I totally agree with you point

    ‘I’ve never seen the media so united in their disapproval on a single issue as they were about the G20 Summit in Toronto.’

    I remember journalism and the whole unbiased thing. Unfortunately we think twitter is news worthy when it is opinion based and the newspapers and network news has been following along with this instead of just reporting the news. Hey it sells. I usually click on the column way before the actual news. When i want the news though i usually click on things like liveleak and balance it with other sites to get a total picture so i can do my thinking for myself.
    The slippery slope is that since most is now opinion based and not news based it is now open season on reporters as they are getting to be untrusted.

  2. lordshipmayhem

    June 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I was wondering if the amount of money spent would prove sufficient to head off the inevitable violence. Clearly, it was not.

    The protesters accepted the violent ones and even hid them in their midst. To my way of thinking, that makes them in cahoots with those who would destroy my city, and drowns out any of the messages they were trying to send.

    And those who did manage to get interviewed by the media displayed a monumental lack of knowledge of how this planet works – economically, socially and scientifically. In plainer words, they lacked the brains that God gave geese, and also lacked the self-discipline of a five-week-old puppy. The Canadian protesters were an embarrassment (that we could produce a generation so incredibly ill-educated and so lacking in the capacity for critical thinking) and the foreign protesters did their home countries’ reputations no favours either.

  3. So it’s not the media to blame for the peaceful protests being ignored? It’s just the fact that it won’t get ratings?

    ‘The peaceful protests weren’t ignored. They are just not as interesting to viewers and readers as World Cup matches.’

    So then why do you blame the viewers? Guess what, the viewers aren’t the ones who decide what coverage of a live event goes on T.V.

    The media is to blame for vilifying the police and not showing the message of the peaceful protesters. The media is responsible for giving the militant protesters a platform for their message of fear and violence.

    The easiest way to unite the masses is to glorify the fear of losing our civil rights (which, by the way, I am willing to bet that none of your readers or you can list off the top of your head). Fear is the only thing the media accomplished, oh and also just like you said, they were also able to score record numbers of readers/viewers/hits.

    ‘…. and media vehicles were smashed.’

    Yeah, I remember watching the police smash those vehicles….oh hang on, it wasn’t the police, it was the protesters whose rights you are so diligently protecting. You don’t get to have it both ways. You can’t complain about the police presence and then cry that media vehicles were smashed.

    Just like all the media, all your article does is show that you are trying to inspire controversy and raise the number of hits to your site. And yes, I realize that I am now part of the problem by posting this. I cannot, however, not comment on your ignorant article. It’s message is muddled and the body of the article is not even well written.

    As with all the media, I think you’ve lost your way and need to remember that your job is to serve the public and not attack the police who protect the rights that you so freely employ to spread your biased message.

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