As SOYMB blog has been reporting there has been mass protests across the world and brutal attempts to suppress them. Yet when it comes to the media, there is a wide disparity in the reporting of the protests and demonstrations. Some receive more TV air-time and press headlines than others.
The well-respected Glasgow University Media Team research showed that a search for "Hong Kong protests" on October 25, 2019, elicits 282 responses in the last month in the New York Times, for example, compared to 20 for "Chile protests," 43 for Ecuador and 16 for Haiti. This disparity cannot be explained due to the protests' size or significance, the number of casualties or the response from the authorities. Eighteen people have died during the ongoing protests in Haiti, 19 (and rising) in Chile, while in Ecuador, protesters themselves captured over 50 soldiers who had been sent in as Moreno effectively declared martial law. In contrast, no one has been killed in Hong Kong, nor has the army been called in. The Chilean government announced it had arrested over 5,400 people in only a week of protests, a figure more than double the number arrested in months of Hong Kong demonstrations.
On Hong Kong, the New York Times published three editorials (6/10/19, 8/14/19, 10/1/19), each lauding the "democracy-minded people" fighting to limit "the repressive rule of the Chinese Communists," condemning the Communist response as evidence of the backward, "brutal paternalism of that system," in which China "equates greatness with power and dissent with treachery." The NYT has not published any editorials on any of the other protests. The NYT ridiculed the idea that "foreign forces" (i.e., the US government) was influencing the protests, calling it a "shopworn canard" used by the Communist government. Yet the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has officially poured over $22 million into "identifying new avenues for democracy and political reform in Hong Kong" or China since 2014. The NYT editorials did not mention this funding.
In the cases of the less-covered protests, the "wrong" people are protesting and the "wrong" governments are doing the repressingAs the Washington Post (10/14/19) noted on Haiti,
“One factor keeping Moïse in power is support from the United States. US officials have been limited in their public comments about the protests.”
On Ecuador, the State Department has been more forthcoming, issuing a full endorsement of Moreno's neoliberal austerity package:
“The United States supports President Moreno and the Government of Ecuador's efforts to institutionalize democratic practices and implement needed economic reforms…. We will continue to work in partnership with President Moreno in support of democracy, prosperity, and security.”
In other words, don't expect any angry editorials denouncing US client states like Haiti or Ecuador, or arguing that the Chilean government's repression of its protest movement shows the moral bankruptcy of capitalism. Indeed, corporate media (e.g., Guardian, 10/8/19; CNN, 10/8/19; USA Today, 10/10/19) emphasized the violence of the Ecuadorian protestors while downplaying Hong Kong's—the New York Times (6/30/19) even inventing the phrase "aggressive nonviolence"
Which protest movements interest corporate media has little to do with their righteousness or popularity, and much more to do with whom they are protesting against. If you're fighting against corporate power or corruption in a US-client state, don't expect many TV cameras to show up; that revolution is rarely televised.