The Times has mentioned several times on blogs that Adbusters, a Canadian magazine, first proposed Occupy Wall Street and even set the date. Yet this intriguing nugget of information remains to be developed. Who is Adbusters? How did the idea leap the chasm between conception and action?
An investigation into origins would lead to the identities of early leaders, at least, and the search for the broader leadership of the movement should continue from there. I polled a group of journalism educators on the question of how The Times should direct its coverage henceforth. Not all agreed on this, but most said it was important to understand who the leaders were and what demographics they represented. The point is: Who is Occupy Wall Street?
“Leadership tells you a lot about a movement,” Jerry Ceppos, journalism dean at Louisiana State University and formerly executive editor of The San Jose Mercury News, wrote in an e-mail. “But I can’t cite the name of a single Occupy Wall Street leader. I know some members say the groups are ‘leaderless.’ But I have trouble believing this is an entirely organic movement that grew without a leader. I’d push hard to see if there are leaders and to profile them.”
The push to establish origins and leadership would help surface the demands, or at least the most important underlying issues.