Sky Box by Jay Rosen
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Some selected links on what is shaping up to be a big story: the protests happening around New York and how they may play into the convention, or at least its television coverage:
Jeralyn Merritt, who writes the weblog Talk Left, in the Denver Post (Aug. 29):
You can watch the delegates and speeches on TV, but that will not be the real story this time around - at least not for those who oppose George Bush.Chris Thompson in East Bay Express on the conservative media's interest in the protests (Aug. 25):
According to assignment editor Sarah Courtney of the Fox News politics desk, her network plans to have at least three teams of producers, reporters, and cameramen bird-dogging the protests throughout the week. "We haven't solidified all the teams yet," she says, "but we have every intention of making the protests a big part of the convention coverage." An assistant to National Review editor Rich Lowry said the magazine will almost assuredly dedicate considerable space to the demo's crazier antics. Steve Gray, who works at the city desk for the New York Post, promises to do the same: "If something that's offbeat comes up, it'll definitely be covered." A spokesperson for the right-wing Washington Times claims that the paper sent up a reporter to cover the demonstrations two weeks ago. "If the protests get out of control, we'll beef it up," he added.Noah Shachtman in the Chicago Tribune highlights how instant text messaging and cell phones are putting protestors one step ahead of police (Aug. 28).
In recent years, the most common of personal electronics--the mobile phone--has become a tool of choice for political organizers. And when activists by the thousands gather in New York City to protest at the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday, cell phones will get their biggest workout yet as activist instruments.In this online chat, the Washington Post's Robert Kaiser (associate editor) says he expects the protests to be the big story on Monday and Tuesday of convention week.
The AP reports on TV networks and their plans for handling protests (Aug. 29): ""Our goal is to keep things in the proper perspective and not fall victim to staying with something just because it's a good picture and happening now," Princell Hair, executive vice president of CNN said. (via TV Newser.)
NBC's David Shuster at the Hardball blog says he isn't worried (Aug. 25):
There's been a lot of discussion among those of us in the media about pepper spray, gas masks, and possible confrontations between the demonstrators and police. And I'm sure there will be at least one clown will seek to get some attention by destroying something in front of a tv camera.Greg Mitchell, Editor & Publisher, Challenging a Media Myth: '68 Riots Didn't Doom Humphrey (Aug. 27): "As often the case in such distant matters, a little research shows that this is plain bunk. Humphrey actually gained in the polls immediately following the convention."
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