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Final Blog

I found the article on the History of the U.S. Movement to Protect Open Space the most compelling, because I have always been very interested in environmentalism and activist movements. This article focuses on the history of Open Space preservation, and the methods organizations have utilized to gain public support and accomplish their goals. I found it interesting that the earliest Environmental Protection Agencies were run primarily by wealthy men, and it was also interesting to read about how the structure and function of these organizations h over time with increasing support from the public.

The “Movement to Save the Headwaters Forest in California” was a very applicable case study to read in regards to the media. This movement occurred in the 1990s, and media coverage played a critical role in the successful logging ban in the area. Activism groups stated that media coverage was critical for gaining support for rallies, as well as for raising money for legal and political disagreements. Protesters did find, however, that some media outlets showed biased and one-sided coverage of the Movement, with some newspapers lacking any quotes from the activist cause in their articles. One newspaper even claimed that “non-violent civil disobedience is counterproductive,” without ever considering prominent success stories such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi.

While the media’s coverage of the event could have skewed the outcome drastically, overall, leaders from the activist side believed that media did make their victory possible. I found it very interesting how much influence media networks can have on the outcome of an event, simply by the choice of content they choose to cover. While news is supposed to be purely objective, this case study highlights the brutal truth of media’s often unavoidable bias.

I would like to ask Eesha Williams how young adults and college students can make the biggest difference in the media industry for causes they support. Is there a specific approach to lobbying for fair and unbiased media that is most effective?

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  1. Kathleen
    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Great post, Jill and great participation during our guest speaker on Thursday. Thanks!

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