At the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park, you’ll find all of the essentials of a state-of-the-art protest: drum circles, cheeky and plaintive handwritten signs, and, next to a thrumming generator, a hub of social media activity, including live streaming of the proceedings.The Occupied Wall Street Journal,”a four-page, full-color broadsheet newspaper, has gained surprising traction as a tool of protest at the Occupy Wall Street rallies in Manhattan.
But amid the accouterments of modern political action, you will also find, of all things, a broadsheet newspaper, The Occupied Wall Street Journal. It is not some tatty, hand-drawn piece of protest samizdat, but a professionally produced, four-color, four-page document of the demonstration, which began on Sept. 17.
“Get your newspaper, get your free Occupied Wall Street Journal!” shouted one barker. Getting something in the hands of your average New Yorker is a pretty tough sell, but The Occupied Wall Street Journal was eagerly received, even by the people who just came to gawk, in part because it answered the question of what all the hubbub was about.
Forgive an old newspaper hack a moment of sentimentality, but it is somehow reassuring that a newspaper still has traction in an environment preoccupied by social media. It makes sense when you think about it: newspapers convey a sense of place, of actually being there, that digital media can’t. When is the last time somebody handed you a Web site?