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Stevenson Center, alternative news, World Trade Organization, protests


Seattle was the site of one of the largest protests in recent American history. In 1999, tens of thousands of demonstrators representing a multitude of causes gathered in downtown Seattle to protest the meetings of the World Trade Organization and the larger issue of globalization. While many of the protest events consisted of peaceful marches and demonstrations with isolated incidents of violence, research on the media coverage of these events found that the mainstream media often minimized the contributions of the protesters, portrayed them as violent and disruptive, and showed support for the ability of the police to maintain order. But not all media coverage is the same. The events in Seattle were experienced differently by different individuals, and while the portrayal of these events by mainstream media may prove to become the official story of what happened there in 1999, other interpretations have largely been left out of the official public dialogue. Alternative newsweeklies are news sources that often provide different portrayals of newsworthy events. In fact, they intentionally seek to offer “a different perspective” than more traditional newspapers (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies).