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After a Slow Build, Media Takes Notice of Wall Street Protest

The people taking part in the Occupy Wall Street protests have seen coverage of their live-in take off in recent days. Poynter.org has a tally of which outlets have covered it and how much. The post notes The Atlantic Wire’s interesting story about how the media has covered the protest by noting the non-coverage of it.

The uproar and ensuing investigation over one officer’s use of pepper spray on calm female protesters has now made headlines around the world. And a celebrity appearance will always get media attention; Susan Sarandon is supporting the effort and documentarian/author Michael Moore made an appearance earlier this week.

But journalists note that the slow build-up of coverage is, in part, a reflection of a major shortcoming of the Occupy Wall Street campaign (and any campaign that hopes to get media coverage): a lack of a clear goal.

While the protesters have become more logistically organized — arranging for sanitation and media training, for instance — the overall message and goal of the protest is still fuzzy.

Salon reports some say they’re fighting for financial equality, others against the Citizens United ruling.

“The only thing its various constituent groups appear to have in common is a deep-seated anger at inequality in this country,” writes TIME. (Tweeters have started drawing Tea Party comparisons.)

But ultimately, is this the most successful way to run a campaign? Can you accomplish anything when you’ve not outlined what you’re trying to accomplish? It’s an issue that must be tackled by publicists and clients from the get-go.

For Occupy Wall Street as for other protests that have a political angle, just a vocal showing of displeasure can be enough to get policymakers to take notice and listen to the grievances. And with an election year upon us, it’s likely all sides of the aisle will be paying attention. TIME says more protesters are expected to come into NYC this weekend to participate, which will fuel the fire. To what end is yet to be determined.

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