May
22
2008

FAIR Study: TV News Stresses Strategy, Downplays Issues

TV news coverage of the presidential primaries has focused on campaign strategy rather than candidates' stands on issues, and gave some candidates 100 times more coverage than others, according to a new study by FAIR. FAIR studied primary election coverage on the nightly broadcast network newscasts in the six weeks leading up to February 5, often referred to this year as “Super-Duper Tuesday,” when 24 states held primaries or caucuses. Of the 385 news stories aired on ABC World News, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News: 252 stories were mainly about campaign strategy--the “how” of getting elected--and 79 of […]

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 […]

Jul
18
2007

FAIR Study: Covering Africa through celebrities

A disproportionate percentage of already-scant network news coverage of Africa revolves around celebrities like Bono and Angelina Jolie, a new FAIR study finds. Such celebrity-driven coverage imparts remarkably little information about the continent and the people who live there, study author Julie Hollar reports. Among the study's findings: In 2005 and 2006, ABC, CBS and NBC aired a total of 199 stories with a sub-Saharan African country, region or citizen as a primary subject. Thirty one of these stories, or 15 percent of the networks' Africa coverage over the two years, had a celebrity angle. During Sierra Leone's 11-year civil […]

Jul
09
2007

Celebrities or Silence

FAIR Study on Media Coverage of Africa

A disproportionate percentage of already-scant network news coverage of Africa revolves around celebrities like Bono and Angelina Jolie, a new FAIR study finds. Such celebrity-driven coverage imparts remarkably little information about the continent and the people who live there, study author Julie Hollar reports. Among the study's findings: In 2005 and 2006, ABC, CBS and NBC aired a total of 199 stories with a sub-Saharan African country, region or citizen as a primary subject. Thirty-one of these stories, or 15 percent of the networks' Africa coverage over the two years, had a celebrity angle. During Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war […]

Oct
03
2005

FAIR Calls for De-Funding CPB

How to REALLY save PBS: Replace corrupt board with independent trust

As Republican activist Cheryl Halpern takes the helm of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Republicans in Congress call for CPB funding cuts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, public broadcasting's defenders look ahead once again to a fight to "save PBS." But the broader issues remain overlooked: Is public broadcasting delivering on its promise of offering a true alternative to commercial broadcasting? Does the CPB really, as its mission statement proclaims, "encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities"? In the October issue of […]

Nov
05
2004

New York Times Killed "Bush Bulge" Story

November 5, 2004 Five days before the presidential election, the New York Times killed a story about the mysterious object George W. Bush wore on his back during the presidential debates, journalist Dave Lindorff reveals in an exclusive report on this week's CounterSpin , FAIR's weekly radio show. The spiked story included compelling photographic and scientific evidence that would have contradicted Bush's claim that the bulge on his back was just a matter of poor tailoring. "The New York Times assigned three editors to this story and had it scheduled to run five days before the election, which would have […]

Jun
02
2004

Ignoring Iraqi Opinion in the Name of Democracy

Despite growing calls from within the foreign policy establishment for a reconsideration of the U.S. military presence in Iraq, most mainstream pundits and commentators continue to argue that the U.S. has no choice but to tough it out. According to a survey of editorial opinion by Editor & Publisher (5/7/04), the trade publication of the newspaper industry, "the vast majority of America's large newspapers favored this approach to Iraq: Stay the course." But with resistance to the U.S.-led occupation forces showing no signs of fading away, some journalists have cast a worried glance at Iraqi public opinion. Establishing a democratic […]

Jun
01
2004

NPR Responds to FAIR's NPR Study

June 1, 2004 On May 26, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin responded to FAIR's recent study, "How Public is Public Radio? " What follows is Dvorkin's column, followed by a response from FAIR's Steve Rendall. (NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin ) Is FAIR Being Fair about NPR? By Jeffrey A. Dvorkin Web Extra May 26, 2004 -- FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has published a study that says NPR has gone over to the conservative side when it comes to who is interviewed and who are commentators. FAIR is a media watchdog group that describes itself as "progressive" -- i.e., […]