Pro-Palestinian protesters urged people to stop subscribing to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and accused the liberal newspaper of “genocide,” marching to the Journal Sentinel’s offices in downtown Milwaukee on Nov. 17 with dummies representing deceased journalists.
The Journal Sentinel, however, misleadingly cast the protest as mostly a protest generally about protecting journalists. Although that was clearly a component of the protest – at one point, the names of deceased Palestinian journalists were read out loud – the protest was blatantly geared against the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel itself. In fact, the Journal Sentinel was mentioned so often that it appeared to be a protest of the Journal Sentinel. Even editor Greg Borowski was mentioned by name during the protest.
“If you are a subscriber to the Journal Sentinel, if you are a leader, I urge you to unsubscribe and find different news sources,” a speaker said to the crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters before they marched to the newspaper’s offices. The crowd then cheered. If the newspaper doesn’t want to listen to people based on morality, “we will respond accordingly,” the speaker said, speaking through a megaphone as people carried children on their shoulders and waved signs accusing Israel of terrorism.
“The Journal Sentinel is what we would consider legacy media. They have been around for awhile,” the speaker continued. “They are more traditional. The new definition for legacy media is that their legacy is about supporting genocide about being biased in favor of the oppressor.. they do this for every single social justice movement. They take the side of the oppressor because they support our imperialist government and their objectives, and we’re here to say we notice, and we’re not going to stand for that anymore.”
The speakers and protesters continued to call out the newspaper once they arrived outside the office building in downtown Milwaukee.
“Journal Sentinel, you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide,” a speaker chanted, and the crowd repeated, “Journal Sentinel, you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide.”
“Journal Sentinel stop the lies. Genocide is a crime,” the crowd chanted. A speaker called on the Journal Sentinel to write an editorial calling for a ceasefire.
“Ceasefire now!” the speaker shouted.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” they chanted outside the newspaper’s building.
Now contrast that with the Journal Sentinel’s misleading generalized headline, “Pro-Palestinian protesters march to bring attention to deaths of journalists,” and story by Bill Glauber and Tamia Fowlkes.
“Pro-Palestinian protesters sought to bring attention to the deaths of journalists in Gaza during a Friday demonstration and march in Milwaukee,” they wrote.
The story contained one line indicating the protesters had called out the Journal Sentinel, “The group urged the news organization to support a cease-fire in Gaza, chanting ‘Journal Sentinel, end the lies, start reporting the genocide,'” which does not properly capture the degree to which the newspaper was mentioned or the fact the newspaper appeared to be a key focus of the protest.
“At the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, we stand in solidarity and support all journalists who pursue the truth, whether across the globe or in our own hometown,” said Executive Editor Greg Borowski in the newspaper’s own story. “We are proud of the work our team has done to cover the war from a local perspective. Our newsroom will continue our good faith efforts as we report, listen and seek to understand all perspectives and the whole of our community.”