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Protest and the Press - Essay Example

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Protest and the Press

Portrayals of the news with sociological, political, sometimes economic and even humorous twists are included. Simultaneously, the protesting community may come up with more shocking and unconventional forms of protesting all the time. Consequently, the question of representation is crucial. The example of the Bed-in concept developed and applied in real life as a functional publicity by John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono in 1969 constitutes the very essence of such ambivalence.
In general, the decade of the sixties is especially known for being turbulent times which led to self-reflections and reinterpretations in a variety of spheres. Media and press were becoming more and more engaged in processing information and opinions across society answering to the cultural interests of, quite frequently, competing social groups and minorities. At the same time, the media coverage formulated opinions and outlooks on especially vexing and controversial issues from which the readers could draw and sometimes even unconsciously adopt such views as their own. Among many social-political problems of the 1960s in the US was the war in Vietnam which was faced with a public disapproval mostly because it was considered to be futile, immoral and unnecessary. But there was also a considerable pressure put on the American as well as other western societies to adhere to certain patriotic standards - if not for the sake of national pride then at least for the common good of the democratic world. Definitions of patriotism and responsibility for the country were erected along the process. Such stability was not easy since the 1960s generation is still considered the most rebellious and innovative so far.
John Lennon, an English songwriter, singer, musician, graphic artist, author, peace activist and one of the founding members of the legendary band The Beatles, was an icon of the generation. He channeled his fame and penchant for controversy to successfully protest against the Vietnam War in the late sixties and his performance, so-to-speak, became of almost historical significance. During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two, week-long Bed-ins, as a radical form of protest against the unpopular war. Although physically away from the United States they still managed to make a significant contribution to the anti-war state of opinion with the help of the print press and electronic media. However a music star's engagement in political life was at that time a rather rare phenomenon therefore most newspapers and magazines mocked the absurdity of his undertaking which only reinforced the Bed-in's rock-and-roll identity.
The couple decided to use their wedding as the opportunity to express their solidarity the peace-loving community of the world staging a week-long Bed-In for peace in Amsterdam in 1969 during their honeymoon. However, when they could not follow the Amsterdam Bed-In with a similar event in the U.S. due to John's precarious visa eligibility at the time, they chose Montreal across the Canadian border as the next venue for their unusual project. Lennon told the reporters that his marriage was bound to make headlines anyway, so why not turn the occasion into what he called 'an advertisement for peace' (Charlesworth 1976) The atmosphere of this interview and the introductory comment were written in a sympathetic tone. ...Show more

Summary

There has always been a mutually dependent relationship between protests and the press. Beyond any doubt, protests need the press to catch the imagination of the public and in order to spread their message apart from just garnering the attention of the authorities…
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Protest and the Press essay example
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