Search Results for: Michael Dolny

Jul 01 2013

FAIR STUDY: Think Tank Spectrum 2012

Range of debate narrows as the status quo holds

dolny jim demint

Range of debate narrows as the status quo holdsThink tank researchers are often cited by news outlets to add context and analysis to a news story. They are often portrayed as objective or nonpartisan observers (Extra!, 5/98), and as Ken Silverstein recently explained in the Nation (5/21/13), that appearance can be quite valuable to corporate donors: Nowadays, many Washington think tanks effectively serve as unregistered lobbyists for corporate donors, and companies strategically contribute to them just as they hire a PR or lobby shop or make campaign donations…. “If you’re a lobbyist, whatever you say is heavily discounted,” says Kathleen […]

Jun 01 2012

Think Tank Spectrum Revisited

Conservatives gain within still-narrow spectrum

Heritage Foundation--Photo Credit: Heritage Foundation

Conservatives gain within still-narrow spectrumTHINK TANK MONITOR After a two-year hiatus, the FAIR think tank survey is back. In our last survey, using 2008 data (, 9/3/09), overall think tank citations were in decline, and that decline was most noticeable among conservative think tanks. The results for 2011 are the opposite: a good year for the top 25 think tanks, particularly for those that lean to the right. Centrist think tanks still dominate at 47 percent, but their citations dropped 2 percentage points from 2010, while the proportion of conservative or center-right think tank mentions inched up from 31 to […]

Mar 28 2008

Study Finds Decline of Think Tank Citations in Media

Think tank citations in the media are dropping, but right and center still predominate, according to a new study by FAIR. The annual study, which FAIR has conducted since 1995, counts citations of the 25 most prominent think tanks of right, center and left, using the Nexis database. Citations for the 2008 study were counted in what Nexis designates to be major U.S. newspapers, as well as in transcripts of the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC; the cable channels Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC; and publicly funded PBS and NPR. Among the findings for 2007: * The ideological […]

Aug 01 2005

The Military-Industrial-Media Complex

Why war is covered from the warriors’ perspective

Why war is covered from the warriors’ perspectiveAfter eight years in the White House, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address on January 17, 1961. The former general warned of “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.” He added that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” One way or another, a military-industrial complex now extends to much of corporate media. In the process, firms with military ties routinely advertise in news outlets. Often, media magnates and people on the boards of large media-related corporations enjoy close links—financial and […]

May 01 2004

Special Report: Think Tank Coverage

More attention, but not more balance

More attention, but not more balanceEven as media reliance on think tanks increased in 2003, the slant in coverage toward conservative groups and away from progressives held steady. While mainstream media citations of the top 25 think tanks increased 13 percent from 2002 to 2003, right-leaning institutions received 47 percent of last year’s citations, with centrists getting 39 percent and 13 percent going to groups that leaned to the left. The centrist Brookings Institution was once again the most widely quoted think tank, garnering almost one-sixth of total citations. Another centrist group, the Council on Foreign Relations, maintained the second […]

Jul 01 2003

Spectrum Narrows Further in 2002

Progressive, domestic think tanks see drop

Progressive, domestic think tanks see dropThe center-right slant in media citations of think tanks continued in 2002, with conservative groups receiving 47 percent of last year’s citations, centrists 41 percent and progressives 12 percent–the least representation for the left since 1998. The top 25 think tanks in 2002 received 25,897 citations in major newspapers and broadcast transcripts, according to a search of the Nexis media database. This is an 8 percent decrease from 2001, bucking the trend of increasing think tank citations since the survey began in 1996. The centrist Brookings Institution maintained the top spot, garnering about one-sixth of […]

Mar 01 2002

Think Tanks in a Time of Crisis

FAIR's 2001 survey of the media's institutional experts

FAIR’s 2001 survey of the media’s institutional expertsIn 2001, during a time of crisis, the mainstream media rounded up the usual think-tank suspects. Once again, media used think tanks quite often during the year, with over 25,823 citations for the 25 leading think tanks. (FAIR’s annual survey looks at mentions of think tanks in the Nexis database files for major papers and broadcast transcripts.) Thirty-four percent of these citations occurred on or after September 11–a time period that represents roughly 30 percent of the year–suggesting that media were slightly more reliant on these news-shapers in uncertain times. Once again, the […]

Aug 01 2001

Think Tanks Y2K

Progressive groups gain, but right still cited twice as often

Progressive groups gain, but right still cited twice as oftenWhile 2000 was an unsettling year for electoral democracy and the stock market, it was a good time to be a think tank. Overall, media citations of think tanks grew 29 percent in 2000. Progressive or left-leaning organizations obtained 20 percent of those citations, an 79 percent gain over 1999. Some think tanks saw a dramatic increase in the number of references they received in electronic media, including many progressive groups, such as the Economic Policy Institute, Urban Institute and Justice Policy Institute. While this represents a step toward diversity, the […]