Media Coverage on Occupy Wall Street Essay

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In October of 2011, the media could no longer ignore the thousands of protesters camping in Zuccotti Park calling themselves Occupy Wall Street with their battle cry of “We are the 99 percent” (Gitlin 50). The social movement began to bring awareness on economic inequality in which 99 percent of the wealth was controlled by one percent of the population. The name Occupy Wall Street began because the protestors were occupying the space outside of Wall Street through setting up tents and refusing to leave the location (Gitlin 26). As more and more protestors flocked to the camps, the movement broadened its goals to include a wide variety of issues including agriculture, housing and student loans. Described as lacking any clear-cut goals for …show more content…

Due to the scattered and non-hierarchical organization of Occupy Wall Street, it is unclear how many sexual assaults occurred in the Occupy camps. There is no official data from the camps and many women in the camps decided to deal with the perpetrators on their own rather than reporting to the police. However, the actual number of assaults are not necessary for this research because the news media made this issue into a pressing concern and presented it as a crisis to the point where Occupy Wall Street released the statement “Transforming Harm & Building Safety: Confronting Sexual Violence At Occupy Wall Street & Beyond” about sexual assaults in the camp ( The hype created by news outlets created an opening to explore the narrative of sexual assaults during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
How the media covers sexual assaults creates serious implications for how society responds to sexual assault. Because individuals both receive and interpret knowledge from the media, the messages media shape help the public create informed opinions on social issues. Due to society taking mainstream news coverage to be objective and truthful, the messages society learns from news coverage of sexual assault have serious effects on survivors. These effects include how likely a survivor is to come forward with his or her assault, what people’s attitudes are about sexual assault and how the public

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