At least, social and alternative media folks clearly have that intention in mind, if you are to believe the message that they are delivering at Zuccotti Park on Occupy's Birthday #3 this coming Wednesday, Sept. 17.
Alternative Media Is the New Mainstream
Organizers for the "Alt/Press Day" claim that several dozen successful bloggers, editors, writers, journalists, photogs, social and Alt/Media mavens will be on hand to proclaim the demise of MSM (Main Stream Media), proclaim the rise of the citizen journalist, and provide here's-how-it's-done tutorials in their specialty.
Displace MSM? Given their wide definition of what constitutes alternative media, they might just be able to do that. For one, much of what MSM does not report on is what more and more people want to read, watch or listen today. Particularly, news on activism and social unrest, largely ignored by reporters -- unless there is blood, or a riot involved.
"If someone wrote something of a revolutionary nature on the back of a napkin that needs to be heard, and is able to get that out to a wide audience, that's AltMedia enough for me," one OWS media spokesperson declares.
"This could be done by using their cellphone to click a photo of that napkin, send it out on the twitterverse, and then head to Facebook to post this link in a dozen groupsites," the source adds. "And that would trump any amount of newspaper or broadcast press. It's immediate, it's personal, its electronic and its everywhere."
And, don't think of alternative media as something new to the counterculture. As far back as 1970, Goddard College put on an Alternative Media Conference -- described as a "mini-Woodstock of the ethos of the times."
What did they talk about at the conference? The amazing '60's
Its underground FM stations, weekly newspapers like the Rolling Stone and Village Voice and Boston Phoenix, and the first portable (called by its users, "luggable") video gear "making it possible to run experiments in alternative television. All in all, it was an exciting, heady time" the writer, Dan Jones, extolled.
We can go back much further to find disruptive media. Be reminded that Johann Gutenberg's printing press pre-empted the clergy by providing the common person with access to the Bible. Early newspapers provided the middle class with information previously available only to the "insiders" -- the aristocracy. The advent of broadcast television further opened another, powerful window onto the world.
But, what has happened to newspapers and broadcast TV since? Is it still liberally educating its audiences? No, and that is why it is losing ground, audience and authority.
It is into this void that Occupy (and other activist stalwarts) steps to claim its place. Its "citizen journalists" outnumber the press by a factor of 1000. The worldwide reach afforded the dissident by way of Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn, dwarfs the reach of all MSM combined. By every metric, newspaper and broadcast audiences cannot compare in size.
People, places, times and a blanket invite to the public
Occupy's birthday party will open at Liberty Square, er, Zuccotti Park at 10:00 a.m. with -- what else -- a press conference to which all MSM is invited. Spokespeople will be there to address events that the public needs to know about, such as the upcoming "People's March" to take place on Sunday afternoon, September 20, in NYC. Projected to be the "largest climate march in history," it proposes to put thousands of supporters on the street.
Immediately following the press conference, Occupy Media will convene at a location within Zuccotti with space enough to begin its workshop/interviews. This will go until noon, when there will be a break for general announcements. The event will begin again at 12:30 and continue until the final journalist presents...perhaps as late as 3:00 p.m.
The intention is to livestream and record this event so that the lessons transmitted can be archived and placed online as a resource for newcomers to social and Alt/Media, planners say.
The invitee list includes documentary filmmakers, including Dennis Trainor of American Autumn, and Michael Perlman of The 99%: Occupy Everywhere. The invited independent and progressive media run from A (Agit-Pop) to Z (Z-Net), Occupy Affinity and Working Groups such as 99 Pickets and We Are the 99% - Tumblr. Another A-Z contingency groups invited include ACT UP New York through Zinn Educational Project.
Whether you are active press or activist press or neither, Occupy Media invites any and all who are interested in celebrating this changing of the media guard on Occupy's third birthday.
It's history. Be part of it.