Relations of Media Production in Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street raised a protest against economic inequality and the power of financial institutions. It produced a profusion of media in print, graphics, video, social media, and live streams, which constituted a media ecosystem, encompassing media practices, technologies, and relations among producers. I argue, first, that Occupy’s media challenged the distortions and omissions of the mainstream media. Second, the works ranged from low-tech (face-to-face oral communication) through traditional (print) to high-tech (digital) media. The digital media were used not as a substitute for live action, however, but to mobilize people for low-tech, face-to-face encounters and demonstrations. Third, occupiers were available because they were young, educated, and savvy in the new media, in which many were aspiring professionals facing difficult career prospects. Finally, media producers adopted a cooperative, nonhierarchical working style, promoting ideals of nonalienated labor.