Jan 8, 2006

Media Coverage Of Auto Worker Protest At NAIAS

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Left: Media vehicles along Detroit's Jefferson Avenue; photos by historymike

There was an impressive turnout by the mainstream media for the coverage of the protest by auto workers outside the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. I counted at least 20 news vans from cities as far away as Cleveland, plus several media vehicles of national outlets.

The protesters marched in support of Delphi employees, from whom huge concessions are being demanded. I was impressed that so many outlets chose to cover the event.

Left: Unidentified journalist talks on his cellular outside the convention center.

Many of the media present, though, had the telltale bright green NAIAS media badges, and likely took a break from the auto show festivities to get a look at how the rest of the world looks. There were a lot of suits and ties on many of the media covering the protest, which is somewhat atypical of most protests (with the exception of the on-air television reporters). My guess is that there will be a lot of 10-second snippets at the end of Auto Show promotional stories on the protest ("And, by the way, there were a bunch of protesters at NAIAS today").

The media was given free access to come and go from the protest zone, and the Detroit Police did not go out of their way to give the media much difficulty. Despite the cold and the large crowd, most of the officers seemed to be in good spirits.

4 comments:

Marie said...

Excellent coverage HistoryMike...thankyou...and...YES,I agree with Mr. Buckmaster, Two Tier Wages is NOT SOLIDARITY...there is NO UNITITY when there is NOT Equal Pay for Equal Work...

Yes, the plught of the Delph Worker will soon be all of ours...especially in the Auto Industry...

I can only ask as I have over and over...

How did we allow this to happen...somehow...we allowed THEM to KILL THE AMERICAN DREAM...

SAD

historymike said...

Thanks, Marie. I was glad to see that there was a decent amount of media coverage, although some outlets underestimated the number of protesters as low as 500.

I think there were a lot more than that there, even up to 1,000. Some people were going back and forth to cars and indoors to get war, as the wind off the Detroit River was bitterly cold.

Part of the problem is globalization, but I do think that the federal government could have taken more steps (import quotas, duties) to reduce or stem the export of jobs.

Conversely, the government could have done more to protect key industries like steel from leaving.

In the short run, it means lower costs for producers (thus higher profits for shareholders), but the loss of jobs and the long-term jeopardization of prosperity do not bode well for the US.

China is already at 64% of the US GNP, and will pass us in output by 2015 at this rate.

They will match us in standard of living by 2025, not because they have completely caught up, but because we will continue our slow slide downwards.

IF things do not change...

Hooda Thunkit said...

Just wait till we need steel from China to build our war machines.

Then, maybe then, we will begin to focus on our vulnerabilities and begin to do something about it...

historymike said...

Scary thought, Hooda. Unfortunately, with this bottom-line-is-everything mentality running the show in business these days (and a government too willing to embrace "free trade" at the expense of core industries), we may inded be very vulnerable to external forces.