As I tuned into Channel 7 News Tuesday night, I was once again reminded of the evils of corporate journalism as the report on the Fort Collins anti-war demonstration aired.
Having covered the war protest on Prospect Avenue just west of College Avenue, I knew police did not clash with protesters and I knew police did not force protesters off the road. In fact, I knew everything Channel 7 reported about the demonstration was false.
It seems so many people have problems with the media, feeling they exaggerate the truth, are extremely biased and blatantly lie. Being a member of the media, I have always felt a need to defend it against these comments, but as I watched the news Tuesday night I began to understand why so many distrust the media and the messages it delivers to the public.
As I covered the protest on Tuesday, I was amazed at the amount of respect between the police and protesters. The police allowed the protest to continue, although they did not hold a permit to protest, under the instructions that the demonstrators remain non-violent and leave at 10 a.m., two hours after the protest began. The police also blocked Prospect to protect all involved from vehicles attempting to drive down the road.
The protesters in turn did not heckle police, remained non-violent, did not destroy any property and left at the time agreed upon. Some protesters even thanked police for their help as they disbanded at 10 a.m.
Channel 7’s blatant exaggeration of the Tuesday protest continued as the video clips aired showing police in riot gear cutting directly to the protesters, thus implying police in riot gear interacted with protesters-not the truth.
Police in riot gear stood over 100 feet from demonstrators, never interacting with them or putting their riot gear into use. Thus, again, not clashing with protesters as implied by Channel 7’s report.
Channel 7’s type of reporting is why people hate the media. This type of reporting is why we – as the media – do not receive any respect. And this type of reporting is why corporate media remains a biased force in today’s society.
I hope that as collegiate reporters and a student-run newspaper we remain unbiased and continue to represent the truth as we have done to the best of our ability. I believe that as evil as media can be, there is still hope for truthful and unbiased reporting.