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The Media
Know of a resource missing from this page? Let us know... 

Page Editor: John Walchak

Media Matters for America
New liberal counterpart to the Media Research Center. "Media Matters for America will document and correct conservative misinformation in each news cycle. Media Matters for America will monitor cable and broadcast news channels, print media and talk radio, as well as marginal, right-wing websites that often serve as original sources of misinformation for well-known conservative and mainstream media outlets." [4 May 04]

"FAIR is a media watch group. FAIR stands for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and basically we examine mainstream news media and try to consider who gets to speak, which perspectives are included and which are left out. And we also try to look at the influence that corporate ownership of media outlets and corporate sponsorship of media have on the content of the news we see and hear. We also publish a magazine Extra!, a radio show Counterspin, as well as providing a website and listserv." (Janine Jackson)

Accuracy in Media
"Accuracy In Media is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."

The Daily Howler
"Woe unto the denizens of the Washington press corps when the rest of the world discovers Bob Somerby's Web site, The Daily Howler (www.dailyhowler.com). A professional comedian by trade, living in Baltimore and only barely computer-literate, Somerby has set himself up as the Diogenes of the Washington Press Corps: the only media critic who, day in and day out, sets out to expose the "astonishing combination of dishonesty and foolishness" that characterizes the groupthink of the daily coverage of American politics."  (Eric Alterman, The Nation, Nov. 22, 1999)

Integrity in Science works to expose conflicts of interest in scientific research and reporting.

"MediaChannel is a media issues supersite, featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds of organizations worldwide. As the media watch the world, we watch the media."

Free Press
Resource and networking site run by an outfit called Free Press.  Lots of good stuff here, especially links to organizations, events, and relevant pieces in the media.  "Free Press is a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector..." [19 Dec 03]

 Media Reform Information Center 
Links dealing with media reform, commercialism, public relations, media ownership, etc.

Media Research Center
"Founded by L. Brent Bozell III in 1987 with the mission of bringing political balance to the nation’s news media and responsibility to the entertainment media, the Media Research Center (MRC) has grown into the nation’s largest and most respected conservative media watchdog organization."

Media Transparency investigates "The Money Behind the Media." 

PR Watch, a project of the Center for Media & Democracy
"PR Watch offers investigative reporting on the public relations industry.  We help the public recognize manipulative and misleading PR practices by exposing the activities of secretive, little-known propaganda-for-hire firms that work to control public debates and public opinion."

"Spinsanity is the nation's leading watchdog of manipulative political rhetoric. We work to counter the increasing dominance of techniques of deception and irrationality in American politics by identifying and dissecting outrageous and important examples of this rhetoric in daily posts and weekly columns."

The Memory Hole
“The Memory Hole exists to preserve and spread material that is in danger of being lost, is hard to find, or is not widely known. . . . The emphasis is on material that exposes things that we’re not supposed to know (or that we’re supposed to forget).” 

Features the Media Patrol, a frequently updated blog-style compendium of international news and views, as well as hundreds of links to newspapers, magazines, pundits, media research organizations, information sources, etc.

Some Essays

Brain Drain by Mark Crispin Miller
Interesting discussion of how hostile email is used in an attempt to silence criticism. "Such repressive tactics, we should note, are anti-intellectual in the deepest and most frightening sense--i.e., opposed to any rational attempt to jolt the public out of acquiescence. It is that livid quietism on the right, that militant and gleeful anti-rational animus, which marks this latest surge of anti-intellectualism..."

Presumption of innocence falls prey to the media pack by Tim Colebatch, The Age
"There is a sickness in the media when it comes to handling allegations against public figures.... I know it because I've been part of it. Journalists suspend their critical faculties, accept allegation as unimpeachable fact, and treat any refutation as simply an attempt to confuse the issue or deny the undeniable, rather than as equally plausible new evidence." [26 Feb 02]

One big happy channel? By Eric Boehlert
"The Telecommunications Reform Act handed over control of the radio airwaves to a chosen few. Will TV be next?"  Part of The Media Borg wants you, "Salon's new series on the corporate consolidation of the information industries. "

Policing the thinkable by Robert McChesney

The myths of encroaching global media ownership by Benjamin Compaine

Media corporations versus democracy:  a response to Benjamin Compaine by Robert McChesney

The workable real versus the absolutist ideal by Benjamin Compaine
Two media scholar/critics debate media ownership in the first instalments of an extended debate on the media at openDemocracy.

Debunking Lynxgate
Did government scientists in Washington State commit "biofraud" by planting fake lynx fur in order to trigger Endangered Species Act protections of the Canada lynx?  The Washington Times (archives search here) said so; but according to Outside's investigation of the story, "What emerges is not a scientific scandal but a case study in media-amplified demagoguery."  Nonetheless, the story was disseminated through other media outlets, including National Public Radio (other useful lynx links at end).  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) offers a page devoted to the controversy, another tracing the story's evolution, and a factsheet disputing the Times's coverage.  Update:  this story was recently disseminated again by ABC’s John Stossel, and FAIR has published an overview of the story’s dissemination.  

Fear & Favor 2001:  How Power Shapes the News
Fear & Favor 2000:  How Power Shapes the News
FAIR's annual review of "incidents that reflect the range of pressures on reporters to use something other than journalistic judgment in deciding what goes in the news and what gets left out. "

The Fake Persuaders by George Monbiot
Did a PR firm use invented people for “internet lobbying” against scientific research it didn’t like?  More in Corporate Phantoms.  The PR group responds here.

TV dots airwaves with inaccuracies by Glenn Garvin.
A TV critic decries the “staggering amount of misinformation” conveyed by the broadcast media during the recent terrorism scare in Florida.  The coverage has also been dissected at The Daily Howler.  The Florida pieces, I think, just make for some great (and timely) case studies in the difference between crisis media and critical thinking.

Why What Everyone Thinks is Usually Right by Franklin Foer
Offers a Peircean/pragmatic defence of “conventional wisdom” and its role in the media.
  Interestingly, the same issue of The New Republic contains a piece by Jonathan Chait which points out some critical problems with journalistic conventions. 

The Radical Vocation: An Interview with Noam Chomsky
Chomsky offers a rather different view on conventional wisdom, critical thinking,  and the media.

The Unbearable Lameness of Project Censored by Brooke Shelby Biggs
A “Reality Check” argues that media watchdog Project Censored has become “pointless, misleading, and laughable.”  Two writers in SF Weekly agree, and propose a Project (Sure Wish They Were) Censored.

Fib Newton by Jack Shafer
’s media critic suggests that there’s a deeper lesson to be drawn from the recent firing of an Associated Press reporter for quoting nonexistent sources in some of his stories.  [20 Nov 02]

Last updated: 21 Jun 2007