Jan
02
2014

Time Journalists: Report to the Business Department

Time-Life Building (cc photo: Wally Gobetz)

Time, Inc newsrooms will soon be reporting to the business side of the company– a concept which, as the New York Times notes, was "once verboten at journalistic institutions."

Nov
22
2013

Politico's Pay-to-Play

mikeallen

The Chamber of Commerce and other powerful corporate interests like oil giant BP pony up to sponsor Politico–and just so happen to get glowing coverage in the very same outlet.

Nov
06
2013

An Open Letter to the Washington Post

Ralph Nader

In recent weeks we have learned from the Post much about Bezos. What we have not been told is how the newspaper is going to shield itself from Mr. Bezos' far-flung business interests in order to maintain reader credibility and trust.

Nov
01
2013

FAIR TV: Obamacare Context, CBS's CIA PR, TV Networks Shilling

FAIRTV11113

Media are showing keen interest in stories about problems with individual insurance policies. But are they getting the story right? And did CBS ask tough questions of the former deputy director of the CIA–or did they throw softballs? Plus NBC and ABC offer examples of corporate synergy at work, using their news divisions to promote the corporate parent.   Watch:

Oct
18
2013

FAIR TV: Hearing Malala's Message, Zakaria's CEO Panel, Networks Do Self-Promotion

Malala Yousafzai (cc photo: GPE/Sarah Beeching)

US media ignore one part of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai's message. CNN's Fareed Zakaria talks about inequality and Occupy Wall Street with….three CEOs? And corporations view the news networks they own as vehicles to promote their other properties.

Oct
18
2013

Income Inequality? The TV Industry Is on Top of It

Les Moonves (cc photo: David Shankbone)

TV bosses are in the top 20 percent of big corporations in terms of how much more they make than their employees.

Sep
18
2013

The Price of Twitter Is Based on the Cost of You

Twitter birds (cc image: Darren Barefoot)

On the verge of an IPO, Twitter is estimated to have a market value of $15-16 billion. What does that mean for our society?

Jul
12
2013

FAIR TV: What David Gregory Doesn't Know, NBC's News-Ads, Karl Plays Bush Softball

karl-bushes

This week on FAIR TV: David Gregory knows one thing about Obamacare–and it's not true. We take a look at some NBC "reporting" that looks a lot like advertising. Plus ABC's Jonathan Karl gets an interview with George W. Bush, and pitches all softballs.

Jul
10
2013

At NBC News, the Anchor Has to Remind You You're Not Watching an Ad

nbc-hamburger-helper

NBC's Matt Lauer issued a clarification that his news report was not an advertisement. That was helpful, because the report appeared to be virtually identical to a paid infomercial.

Jun
14
2013

FAIR TV: Pundits Attack Snowden, Maddow's Misinformation, WaPo Op-Ed Sales Job

Pundits attack NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Rachel Maddow makes false claims about Iran and nuclear weapons. And the Washington Post's new "Sponsored Views" feature will let let corporations and organizations post "responses" to the paper's op-ed pieces–for a price.

Apr
30
2013

An Invitation to a Live-Action Infomercial

underwriters

I was invited to an event yesterday that was held specifically so that media companies can take money from companies who will pay for the chance to be mistaken for an expert.

Jan
16
2013

Journalism by–and for–the Sponsors

atlantic-scientology

The headline of a recent article posted at the website of the Atlantic–"David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year"–probably tipped readers that something was more than a little off. It wasn't an article, really; above the headline, in a yellow box, was the phrase "Sponsor Content." But is what the Atlantic did–and quickly apologized for–really unusual?

Nov
06
2012

FCC Wants to End Persecution of Media Moguls

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

The L.A. Times (11/6/12) reports that following the election, the Federal Communications Commission appears likely to ease cross-ownership rules–because supposedly nobody cares about that stuff anymore. The article by reporter Jim Puzzanghera tries to work up sympathy for media moguls: Paul Boyle, senior vice president for public policy at the Newspaper Association of America, said the rules make it difficult for investors who have as little as a 5 percent ownership in a broadcast company to buy a newspaper in the same market. Pity the poor billionaire who owns a mere 5 percent of Disney or Time Warner–and still they're […]