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Is NPR really covering the Wall Street protests?

NPR ran a story this morning on npr.org about yesterday’s Occupy Wall Street/Brooklyn Bridge arrests. The piece, bylined as “NPR STAFF AND WIRES,” noted that 700 OWS protesters were arrested for marching on a bridge road. The problem, as this YouTube video indicates, is that the cops appear to have led the demonstrators onto the throughway themselves, them busted them for so doing (!!).

Wuddamess. Meanwhile lots of NPR listeners commenting on the latest story are frustrated with what they see as the service’s lack of coverage of the protests, eg:

“Will NPR finally begin covering this on the air?”

“And NPR continues its non-coverage of Occupy Wall Street even as NYTimes and other mainstream media sources have increased coverage. If NPR had treated the Tea Party this way, they may very well have been accused of bias.”

“NPR has been posting AP articles like this on their WEBSITE, but I am yet to hear anything about #OccupyWallSt on the air. The ‘R’ in NPR is supposed to stand for ‘radio,’ right? Agree or disagree w/the protests, I think this is undeniably ‘news’.”

NPR defended its limited coverage of the actions last week.

“The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective,” explained Executive editor for news Dick Meyer.

At least one listener seems to agree with this stance:

“There are 10 million people in New York City, and 300 million in the US. when these protests can get more people to show up than the average friday night high school football game, it will be newsworthy.”

It’s hard to tell whether this Wonkette post is a parody of complaints that NPR isn’t doing enough, or agrees with the gripe. “Haha, right,” reacts Wonkette’s Ken Layne to the Meyer statement”

“Because the fucking Tea Party protests with their ‘more media than protesters’ and the great disruption of several Hoverounds crowding the snack cart and the ‘especially clear objective’ of birthers and Paultards and racists and gun nuts and apocalyptic Jesus freaks and Glenn Beck fanatics was really compelling and newsworthy, right?”

“Never never never listen to NPR. If you want honest news, go to Bloomberg or Pacifica or something.”

Funny about that Pacifica comment. Former Pacifica news director Jo Ann Kawell recently lambasted Pacifica station WBAI in New York City for what she saw as its lack of OWS coverage.

“What’s up with WBAI?” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Why aren’t THEY live broadcasting the Wall Street protests. Fer gawd sakes, their studios are right on Wall Street. Shame, shame, triple shame. This is final proof, if any more was needed, that the Pacifica network is completely moribund.”

Maybe with this Brooklyn Bridge incident, more radio attention will be paid. Could be a good thing.


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