Check out Storify for stories from the People’s Summit from May 12th and 13th.
Check out this Storify of NATO protest coverage. Day 1 of protests, leading up to the Chicago Summit.
While working on my NATO midterm story, about student protestors, I was able to gain a much better understanding of what the NATO summit means student protestors and their reasons behind opposing the summit. When I started gathering information, my research I had lead me to believe that the protestors were only challenging international violence. However after assembling my information and organizing interviews it was clear that there were many reasons why students were getting involved.
The NATO protestors have many reasons—including the war in Afghanistan, the threat of international action and global equality. However the one main issue students are against is the military action, as well as the influence NATO has on the international community, when dealing with arms issues.
By interviewing students who are heavily involved with protesting the summit and professional experts, who outwardly vocalize their opposition to NATO—I was able to gain a great deal of insight into the issues facing the global community.
However one of the most important areas addressed by several individuals we interviewed, was the fact that protestors needed to remain nonviolent. Using violence to stand up against violence is not only hypocritical but also distracting from the real issues. Although, some groups, like Black Bloc and Anonymous, are coming to Chicago with the intention of using violent demonstrations. It would not be unheard of to witness vandalism, rioting and/ or physical attacks, by both protestors and police.
Dr. June Terpstra warned against unjustifiable attacks from police. And suggested that protestors prepare themselves by bringing necessary tools—such as water and vinegar in case police use tear-gas/ pepper spray. Terpstra also suggested to be aware of your surroundings and that violence can come from anyone, at any time.
I gained a lot of information from my research and from the interviews, however the most beneficial aspect was I learned how to behave while attending the summit and that preparing for all contingencies is key.
Technology and web access has changed the flow of a traditional newsroom—each form of media now incorporates segments of writing, broadcast, radio and Internet elements to their content. Within the chapter, ‘From Broadcast to Internet: Repurposing Content,’ by Wilkinson, Grant and Fisher in “Principles of Convergent Journalism,” they discuss the different ways a news publication/ network (specifically broadcast) can maintain their audience by incorporating a multi-media platform, while staying viable with competing news outlets.
The main topic addressed within the chapter was repurposing content or adapting the content to fit a multi-platform news channel. It utilizes different avenues of ‘new journalism,’ by manipulating the story to work in all different stages—whether it is for TV, radio or the Internet. If the raw content already exists then configuring it to be accessible to a wide audience, such as the web, allows the story to reach more people.
Wilkinson, Grant and Fisher focus on specific areas for repurposing content—a user-friendly and up-to-date web layout, images and multi-media reporting, which provides insight into the story and a visual aspect; and a creative angle on the content, so the audience can get the full picture.
The chapter also states that the Internet is a viable resource that allows news to be issued to the viewers/ readers as events unveiled. It provides updated information that can enhance the broadcast story. Because the Internet can be updated rapidly, news footage along with a brief text can not only show, but tell the audience what is occurring.
The authors also discuss the different news outlets and how they can be improved if information was shared among print, the Internet, radio and TV, which would produce a media-packet that is insightful and doesn’t fall into a predictable pattern.
The majority of the security plans for the NATO summit still remains a secret, however Chicago has already undergone a series measures for the summit on May 20-21.
The city’s security alterations, which according to Don Zoufal, a safety and security expert at System Development Integration and Legal Advisor of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police is a way to control the traffic congestion.
However the main concern Chicagoans should beware of is the terrorization from violent anarchist groups leading up to the NATO summit. Zoufal said some individuals are bent on destruction such as Black Bloc and Anonymous—and are relying on a police over reaction.
“There is a core group of individuals that will come to Chicago with the expressed purpose of disrupting the city and then there is even a smaller core within that that will come here with the expressed intent of causing significant damage to property,” said Zoufal.
The anarchist protest groups, Black Bloc and Anonymous are predicted to use violence as a way to reach a wide audience. These individuals are not connected to Occupy Chicago or other peaceful protestors, however Zoufal said that the group dresses in black clothing and creates public turmoil that could turn violent.
“Their plan is to come in with a group, get to a point where they decide to engage in their more violent demonstration. Then go out and damage the property, get rid of the stuff and blend back into the crowd,” said Zoufal, “It makes it very difficult for police to address.”