The Democracy Swing


Dan Gregory, Writer

The media has been given an unbelievable power. It morphs people’s view on virtually every topic. From deforestation to healthcare, the majority of information one gets on any given topic is spoon fed by various forms of media.

So, what happens when those media sources that we rely on are working based on the political agenda of those funding them?

News stations today are mostly paid for by donations for large corporations, according to Business Insider. Because of this, most media has gone from the people’s news, reporting everything that they felt needed to be heard, to today’s corporate media where much of the news is censored or left unreported.

Last year, 19 people were injured in a shooting on Mother’s Day in New Orleans, and one of the shooters escaped, yet it was barely broadcasted on the major news channels. Even though people were shooting towards a crowd of innocent people it was not considered an act of terrorism, just “street violence,” according to an online newspaper, the Guardian.

A recent string of protests took place in Washington D.C. The purpose of these protests, called the Democracy Now Movement, was to shed light on the sad state of our news today. According to U.S. Uncut, an online newspaper, in the first weekend of the protests over 400 protestors were arrested. So many people that the D.C. police department had to bring in multiple coach buses to transport protestors to jail, and once they got to the jails, they had no room for all of the protestors.

Over 400 people were arrested in one weekend at one event but, that’s not the most outrageous thing. What’s truly crazy about the entire situation is that none of it ended up on major  news networks. So many people were arrested that they needed busses to transport them, yet the media didn’t find it newsworthy? Why?

The movement failed to make the news on all major news networks, including CBS, CNN and NBC simply because the protests were against the very corporate funding that makes them so biased in the first place.  

When asked his thoughts on the April 11 Democracy Spring protests, James Weishaar (‘18) had no idea what they were.  “I’ve never of heard it, I don’t really pay attention to those things,” Wieshaar said. He was genuinely surprised to find out that something so big could just go unreported.

Wieshaar, like many Americans, is aware of the power that the media holds, and he was shocked to learn that such power could so easily be controlled by money. However, he also understands the our news sources need to be funded somehow. “It has to be paid for somehow. They (corporate sponsors) shouldn’t get a say in what’s shown though. That’s for the people to decide,” Weishaar said.

Noah Yandow (‘18)  heard about the Democracy Spring protests through Mr. Moulton, a teacher who was helping him with a project on media corruption. Yandow has studied the protests and the movement overall since the movement began. “If the people don’t have the power it’s not a democracy,” Yandow said. The  media is viewed by many as the fourth branch of American government according to Rachel Lumberda, author of Article 11 Issue 2 of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy. The press is given tremendous power.

That amount of influence on the way people view the world should not be given to whoever donates the most money. “We are the future of America, and if we don’t make changes we will have a poor future,” Yandow said.