The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 3, nr. 1 (October 2012)James Deaville: THE ENVOICING OF PROTEST: OCCUPYING TELEVISION NEWS THROUGH SOUND AND MUSIC

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The television coverage of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street Movement discloses a tension between the attention-getting sounds of protesters and the networks’ often dismissive reporting of the sights and sounds of their protests. While the conflict over control of representation has characterized the historical reporting of protest, the Occupy movement presented the networks with particular problems in coverage, since the encampments and associated activities did not afford easy or sensational sound bites. The diversity of the Occupy soundscape, which drew upon typical protest auralities but in new configurations, contributed to the trivializing of the movement as projected in the living rooms of Americans. To situate this phenomenon, the essay examines the prior history of televisual news reporting of the sounds of collective protest, from the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War protests to protest actions related to the Gulf War/War on Terror, the Tea Party and the Arab Spring.