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Press Coverage of the G20 Summit

September 26, 2009

On Saturday the Grand Rapids Press published two Associated Press articles that dealt with the Group of 20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The longer AP article on page 2 focused on what the heads of state had to say.

Most of the article quotes US President Barack Obama, but it also cites the British and German leaders. The original version of the AP article also included comments from the Chinese leader and more details of what the G20 leaders decided on.

The AP article also does not verify the claims made by the world leaders, particularly Barack Obama who said, “We brought the global economy back from the brink. We laid the groundwork today for long term prosperity.” The reporter does not challenge these comments or include other voices that may have disagreed with what the US President and the other world leaders were saying about the global economy.


There were plenty of dissenting voices present in Pittsburgh, but their voices were either ignored or marginalized in the mainstream media. Greenpeace activists produced a short video that communicates why they came to Pittsburgh and what they are demanding from the G20 leaders.  Another video was produced by the Bail Out the People movement, which set up a tent city in Pittsburgh.

Democracy Now! interviewed on Friday the author of a book about the industrial decline of Pittsburgh, which many groups highlighted in their organizing against the G20 Summit. In addition, there was plenty of online documentation of the variety of direct action organizing against the Summit and lots of analysis of what was wrong with the G20 agenda.

The second AP article that the Grand Rapids Press published on Saturday dealt with the repressive force of the police at the G20 Summit. The Press version of the article mentions what type of weapons that the police used and cited a Pennsylvania representative of the ACLU. The original version of the story included comments from people who were abused by the police. The article also mentions that some of the protestors, referred to as vandals, smashed some windows. This has been a pattern of mainstream reporting since the 1999 WTO demonstration in Seattle, where the focus tends to be on property damage and not police behavior.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 5:37 pm

    The Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project has a good anti-authoritarian critique of the G20 and contemporary capitalism. They also provided the framework for much of the action that went down Thursday and Friday. While Greenpeace and the Bailout the People’s movement were there, it was the anarchists who were responsible for much of what was exciting at the summit.

  2. September 28, 2009 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Frank. Here is a link ( to the group you mentioned in case anyone is interested. We will also be posting a piece by someone who was there to get a first hand account. If you or anyone else was there want to post something, we welcome it.

  3. qukudgug permalink
    June 17, 2011 10:43 pm

    Oh to roll it really upset stephanie, which, who decided when she was the tip.

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