The story about Wal-Mart was the most compelling to me. I did not know that by 2005 Wal-Mart had become the biggest company on earth. The way Wal-Mart achieved its success made me disgusted. They achieved their success by paying their employees very low wages and pressuring suppliers to lower their costs. Wal-Marts were built on huge plots of land and large parking lots were built with them. At the same time that these workers received extremely low wages, the CEO in 2008 was to receive a $32 million dollar salary in addition to other compensations. The fact that two out of three Wal-Mart workers were women in 2005 was interesting to me. The company had to pay $50 million in overdue wages to 69,000 employees to settle court cases in 2001. All of these statistics caught me by surprise. Even though Wal-Mart seemed to be successful, in my opinion it really was not because of all the problems that were created by the way these Wal-Mart stores were operated.
The story of how activists in St. Petersburg Florida stopped a Wal-Mart form being built was very compelling to me. It was great to see that a group of people were able to defeat the world’s biggest cooperation and different means of media attributed to this defeat. Andrew Stelezer, a radio reporter, at WMNF was a major contributing factor to this defeat. He focused on the views and strategies of anit-Wal-Mart activists. His interviews with these activists were informative to the people listening. People found out how Wal-Mart did not have suitable and affordable health care for its employees. There was also another Wal-Mart only 4.2 miles from the site where they were trying to build this new Wal-Mart. This is absurd to me because there is no need for two Wal-Marts to be within a 5 mile radius of each other.
The site in St. Petersburg where the Wal-Mart was to be built was on a wetland that was home to many rare species of animals. The radio station WMNF made sure the listeners were aware of this. Andrew Stelezer also made sure the viewers knew the exact day, time and location of the public hearing where the vote of weather this Wal-Mart should be built or not. He also gave out the phone number so people could get more information about the hearing. On the day of the hearing he gave out this same information in another report so that new listeners could have the chance to attend the hearing. All in all, the radio station was a huge contributing factor as to why so many people knew about this new wal-mart that was supposed to be built. It is amazing to me how the media can have such a huge effect on people both positive and negative. However, in this case the media had a positive effect on in its listeners because hundreds of people had turned up at the hearing to put their two cents in.
The St. Petersburg Times daily newspaper was another source of media that helped in the defeat of Wal-Mart. They published several articles along with letters in response to those articles about the location of the new Wal-Mart. This newspaper however, left activists out of its reports unlike the radio station WMNF. It amazed me how only two sources of media were able to get the attention of the people living in St. Petersburg who were affected by the location of this Wal-Mart and get them to respond in a way that defeated the creation of the new Wal-Mart.
How would you use the media to inform people about how little women’s sports are covered in the media and get this to change?