Thursday, July 24, 2008

Measuring crowds

Seems like it's always such a challenge for mainstream media to assess crowd numbers. Take into consideration Barack Obama's speech in a Berlin, Germany park today, where photo caption stated "Senator Obama drew thousands of people..." Other news networks used the 'tens of thousands' line, and still others just said a 'large crowd.'

Just for some perspective on this, "Police spokesman Bernhard Schodrowski said the speech drew more than 200,000 people."

Now take a look at the photo again with that number in mind and you begin to get the correct impression of how many people were actually there.

Think about the last time you saw a crowd of 200,000 people. Perhaps you were at your city's largest sports stadium, and even those can barely hold 60,000+ people - so just close your eyes and imagine almost 2 of those stadiums filled to capacity and then copy that image and paste into a park in the center of Berlin and that ought to help connect the image to the tag line.

We remember filming the pro-peace march in downtown San Francisco in 2003, prior to the Iraq invasion, where the media was cropping images of the crowd photos and saying several thousand people showed up to parade down market street...well we captured over 250,000 people if not more with our cameras that day - so, from that point forward we always look to as many press and independent camera views on a topic as we can to ascertain the true depth of reporting.

Perhaps this isn't the biggest news story of the day, or the greatest issue the world is confronting right now, but we believe that it is important for all of us to be our own filters on news and events - and not some editorial staff on payroll of a large corporate concern that has a real vested interest in framing your emotional response to things.

Peace, Love and truth in reporting!

Your Hippy Gourmet family

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