Part of the reason economic policymakers have failed to properly address the poor economy is because the nation’s news media has not properly covered the unemployment crisis. For example, at the beginning of August, when Washington, DC was debating the debt ceiling crisis, the national debt dominated the airwaves. While it was appropriate for the media then to be covering the deficit due to the debt ceiling debate at the time, there was a stunning lack of coverage of the jobs crisis. A ThinkProgress review of the media coverage of the last week of July found that the word “debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, and “unemployed” was only mentioned 75 times:
Yet now, things have changed. With the debt ceiling debates behind the country and thanks partly to the pressure being brought upon politicians and the media by the 99 Percent Movement and the occupations taking place all over the country, it looks as if the press is finally focusing on the jobs crisis and the behavior of Wall Street instead. A ThinkProgress review of the same three networks between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16 finds that the word “debt” only netted 398 mentions, while “occupy” grabbed 1,278, Wall Street netted 2,378, and jobs got 2,738:
When Occupy Wall Street started last month, a wide variety of news outlets complained that the protesters would not accomplish anything or that they did not have clear goals. It now appears that the resulting 99 Percent Movement has scored at least one victory: successfully re-framing media coverage onto the jobs crisis and real economy rather than trumped-up fears about the national debt or deficit.