The media often views and presents nonviolent struggles incorrectly.  First, it views nonviolent action as inaction, avoidance or passive resistance.  Second, “the effectiveness of nonviolent action is a function of the ideology or repressiveness of the oppressors”.  Also, it usually sees nonviolent action as a tactic used when there is no other option.  Next, nonviolent action is viewed as something that is establish by “culture, economic system, geography, or other structural conditions”.  In addition, the media views nonviolent action as being related to certain beliefs, whether they are religious, metaphysical, or otherwise.  Lastly, the media believes that nonviolent action can only succeed if it is lead by someone “charismatic”. 

Therefore, when presenting nonviolent struggles on news programs, the media presents them in such a way as to influence the viewer.  They do so using, predominately, the following techniques:  framing and frame analysis, fragmentation, dramatization, euphemism, and authority-disorder bias.  Other reasons for misinterpretation could be due to:

1.    not diligently reporting from the scene

2.    not completely understanding the situation or topic

3.    not understanding the big picture

4. laziness (intellectual or journalistic)

What can we, the viewers, do?  We should be conscious viewers, not just ingesting everything we are told by the media as truth.  We should also ask questions about what we see, to check for validity.  Next, we ourselves can use “accurate language consistently, so as not to pass on misconceptions heard in the media.  Finally, we can search out authentic journalism (i.e., blogging, Twitter, etc.).

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