When it comes to reporting quickly, objectively, and comprehensively, it seems that mainstream media, with the burden of agendas that are their part and parcel, keep falling behind what is now emerging as the “new” media – the social networks.
The social and security crisis that has been gripping the US since last weekend and the death of George Floyd has been bringing this more and more to light.
Not only are citizens (and participants) in the protests the ones who are documenting the events and providing the most compelling content – many are saying that the mainstream media appear to be intentionally ignoring other killings that have occurred as a direct result of the protests sparked by Floyd’s death.
According to the Associated Press at least 10 innocent people have so far died in the violent protests, among them three African Americans who were themselves unarmed.
The reason big media outlets choose not to focus on these incidents is speculated to be their intent to protect the narrative about the protests being mostly peaceful, and downplay the violence and looting that has also been taking place.
A new Media Research Center study looks into how some of the biggest networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC have decided to cover the crisis between May 28 and June 3 in their prime morning and evening news programs.
What they discovered is that the three media heavy-hitters dedicated less than one percent of their coverage of the protests to those who died during the rioting.
This translates to CBS spending only 61 seconds on this topic, while dedicating 201 minutes to protest coverage overall. The situation is similar with ABC (91 seconds, or 0.76 percent out of 200 minutes) and NBC, who set aside the same percentage of time to report about these victims – although that amounts to “as many as” two minutes, given the total coverage of 309 minutes.
Those who want to stay informed about this, and other topics that for some reason don’t fit the corporate media mold – even though, from the purely professional standpoint, should be the most compelling content – will have to start relying more on independent and social media.