ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Not only are protesters occupying Zuccotti Park, they're also using a lot of space on Twitter and other social media sites. One of the hottest properties is Livestream, where visitors can watch live footage from the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Nina Porzucki of Turnstile News has that story.
NINA PORZUCKI, BYLINE: In the middle of the frenzy at Zuccotti Park, under a giant pink umbrella, protesters hover over laptops surrounded by mounds of equipment covered in blue tarps. A beaten-up sign rests at their feet with the word "media" written in Magic Marker. This is the Occupy Wall Street media headquarters.
COLIN LAWS: We have people that monitor social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, people that monitor the news, people that Livestream. That's a huge thing, actually, because that's how we get a lot of our news out to our followers.
PORZUCKI: That's Colin Laws. He's 19, from Connecticut, and a week ago he was one of those Livestream followers watching the streaming video of Zuccotti Park over the Internet. And then, after weeks of just watching the Global Revolution - that's the name of the Livestream channel - he sold his TV and all his video games and bought a bus ticket to New York. What really brought him out to the protest?
LAWS: Seeing Hero and all the other people on Livestream, it ended up having me come down here to help out with media.
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HERO VINCENT: Yo, what's up, everybody?
PORZUCKI: Hero Vincent - yes, that's his name - is a protester turned Livestream broadcaster, turned icon. Here's a clip from the Livestream last Friday right after the city announced it would not evacuate protesters to clean the park.
VINCENT: We are at a beautiful moment right now. There's thousands of people out here, as you can see, and we're all standing in solidarity and I'm losing my voice again, unfortunately.
PORZUCKI: If the Livestream has a news anchor, I suppose he's it, but news anchor is not his formal role. There are no formal roles or any formal schedules. The Occupy media is as loose as the protest itself.
VINCENT: It just happens. Like, I'm comfortable in front of the camera because I'm a performer, so, like, getting in front of the camera, trying to inspire people to do stuff is - this is who I am.
PORZUCKI: Vincent never wanted to be a journalist, if that's what he is. His Livestream fame is just a byproduct of what he really came down on day one to talk about.
VINCENT: You know, like my family has been foreclosed on. You know, my father's been unemployed a couple years now and my sister's in school, higher tuition and it's just been a long time coming and we've been working hard. I've been working since I was 14 just to help my parents, you know, put food on the table, so it was inevitable for me to be here.
PORZUCKI: But for other members of the Occupy Wall Street press corps, this may be a jumpstart into another career in - well, media. Luke Richardson works on the Livestream.
LUKE RICHARDSON: What do I do? We all do the same thing here. We shoot, we edit, we charge batteries, we put up tarps when it rains, we keep people from stealing our equipment. It's constant work.
PORZUCKI: What is your experience before?
RICHARDSON: I'm a waiter.
PORZUCKI: Or he was a waiter. Four days into protesting, he quit his job. We didn't get into the ironies of quitting work to protest unemployment. Richardson says this might be career advancement, just a career he had never considered before.
RICHARDSON: I've been thinking about it a lot, how I can parlay this into some way to sustain myself because I do have bills to pay and I love this and I want to keep doing it.
PORZUCKI: Richardson is not alone. Several members of the media team, from an antique dealer to an English master's student, are suddenly reconsidering their future careers. Remember Colin Laws who sold his TV to get to New York? Well, Hero Vincent wasn't the only reason he left Connecticut.
LAWS: Another reason I came down here was because I'm looking to become a journalist and I was going to go to school for it, but this was going on and I did not want to wait. I wanted to get down here.
PORZUCKI: Not only have Occupy Wall Street demonstrations spread from city to city, live streams of the protest have caught on around the world. You can now watch demonstrations from Los Angeles to London.
For NPR News, I am Nina Porzucki.
SIEGEL: And that story was produced by TurnstileNews.com. That's an online news service from Youth Radio.
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