'If you really want to understand what is happening in America avoid mainstream media'

Democracy Spring protesters participate in a sit-in at the U.S. Capitol to protest big money in politics, April 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. © Mark Wilson / Getty Images / AFP
American mainstream media tends to avoid covering protests that require some kind of individual intellectual capacity to understand the matter, media analyst Lionel told RT.

RT: Why do you think there hasn't been so much media coverage of these protests?

Lionel: Because it joins yet again another series of stories with no national coverage. It goes into this waste bin, this vacuum of stories that aren’t covered for reasons I don’t know.

This reminds me in many respects of how Occupy Wall Street was covered at first. The international media looked at it. Alternative media looked at it. But local and domestic mainstream media dismissed it as ‘a bunch of kids.’

So when it comes to this, if only I knew the algorithm, the formula that is being used to determine what stories warrant attention – I’d be a millionaire. I can’t figure it out. If for no other reason – it is B-roll, there are people arrested, that seems to fuel the 24/7 news monster where they are throwing pictures and video at them – as you can hear by the sound of that siren. But the point is I don't know. Some protests are covered, some aren't.

Black Lives Matter is covered, but if there is a protest against something that may not be as, dare I say, sexy, whatever that means, there is no coverage. I don’t understand it, because if you want to know what is going on in this country, don’t go to this mainstream media, go elsewhere. 

RT: The protesters are demanding an electoral reform. Do you think those demands realistically can be met? 

L: Well-yes! I mean yes! I mean everyone who has asked for something at first was deemed to be somebody far-fetched – 'equal pay? – well I don't know about that!''civil rights? – well I do not know about that!', ending the Vietnam War, 'women's rights, you know African-American rights, rights for the LGBT communities, a fairer minimum wage?' 

Every movement of note started off at first with somebody saying: ‘That is not going to work, that is not going to catch on, that is crazy, that is pie in the sky, nobody is going to give that to you.’ And then later on as it is accepted things change. But what happens is thankfully for alternative, foreign - mainstream media excluded - but social media, bloggers, that other sphere there is an attention. There is. And what is happening is that somebody somewhere in a newsroom... Remember newsrooms are shuttered daily. They are under tremendous constraints to stay on the air. They have to put out the shows and stories that are sexy, easy to cover and easy to digest, not a lot of intellectual heavy lifting. 

You don’t want to make people think. You just want them to have a look at it and say 'oh, look at that, there is another Donald Trump story' or what have you. But when you have a story that makes the viewer or the audience have to think and maybe do a little research and say: ‘Equality, hmm, maybe I should look into this,’ then you have lost the audience because that involves a certain degree of involvement on their part. I hate to be so negative about this, but I will. This is par for the course. And what makes a movement media worthy I will never know.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.