For the most part, protestors actually (gasp) want the media there. We're a tool to get their message out, and really, that's the point of a protest, right? I mean, if they went to all the trouble to alter their usual routine, grab a picket sign, and take to the streets, they must be pretty passionate about sharing their opinions.
But (back to the reason why I like shooting protests) in addition to the thrill of not being hated or reviled (at least not to our face), protests are super visual and full of "nat" sound, or in real man speak, the natural sound of the event. I LOVE nat sound. Nat sound infuses a story with life. I mean really. Think of a story about a protest where you hear only the reporter speaking, and the spokespeople speaking, but no loud chants or drums pounding or horns blaring. Without that sound, there's no energy. And when you have people chanting and marching and waving signs... well, it really is a perfect scenario for getting a great piece.
All right. So now you know I enjoyed shooting my story today, but you don't know what the protestors were protesting about, right? Well it's kind of tied into the Occupy movements, all concerning use of funds and budgeting, this time, with the University of Cal systems. Across California, students and faculty protested financial issues, like tuition hikes and salary freezes. Yeah, it stinks. But hey... paying for an education has never been easy, and certainly isn't now. As my reporter and I discussed, college is a privilege, not a right. Always has been. But my opinion isn't part of the story.
So while budget cuts can be a dry subject, at least the protestors add an exciting visual and auditory element. They had a nice diverse crowd at UCI. Funny how college students will always protest something, even if they're not totally sure about the core reasons behind what they're protesting. I guess it's a rite of passage. I wouldn't know...