As Trump continues his assault on the press, some have suggested that there might be a silver lining: maybe the mainstream corporate media will work harder, do real reporting and as a result become a better resource for citizens. Maybe...
It’s still too early to tell and the corporate overlord influence may be too strong for real change to happen, but no matter how things turn out, we must always be active news consumers. That means calling out inaccuracies and bias when you see it and communicating directly with journalists to demand more responsible reporting. In the age of Trump, this has never been more important.
So we’d like to bring your attention to the non-profit organization FAIR, which stands for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. FAIR is the progressive organization behind the show CounterSpin, which you’ve probably heard clips from here on Best of the Left. This national media watch group has been offering well-documented criticism of the media for more than 30 years. FAIR’s mission includes fighting for greater diversity in the press, pushing for minority and dissenting viewpoints, scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, exposing neglected news stories, and defending working journalists when they are muzzled. They also believe that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information. Basically, they are total bad-asses.
Now, here is where you come in. FAIR encourages the public to contact media with their concerns to become what they call “media activists,” rather than passive consumers, and provides the resources to do just that. Go to FAIR.org and check out the “Take Action” page, where the organization has a continuously updated lists of Action Alerts about issues in the media and the direct contact information you need to share your concerns with the outlet or journalists involved. You can also sign up to receive these action alerts via email so that you are always in the know.
FAIR also provides a Media Activism Kit that provides “how-to” guides for identifying, documenting and challenging unfair or inaccurate news coverage, along with information about something that is certainly close to my heart - how to promote independent media. There is a link to the kit on the Take Action page of the site.
Again, we want to ask that you help us in our work to amplify the most effective activism. If you have come across an action or a new organization that is doing great work getting people engaged to resist the Trump agenda, please share it with us by emailing Amanda@bestoftheleft.com.
So, if having an accurate, fair and free press is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about becoming a “media activist” via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
The press is critical to our democracy, but we must hold them to extraordinarily high expectations. Otherwise, as Orwell once said, it’s all just public relations.
No major media coverage of Gorsuch ruling against cancer survivor who wanted to work from home during flu epidemic. https://t.co/KPu7FlQhry— FAIR (@FAIRmediawatch) February 17, 2017
Member of the media? Check out FAIR’s Media Advisories
Jessica Gonzalez on FCC Chair Ajit Pai (FAIR's CounterSpin)
Posted Feb. 17, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1080: Corporate media’s fight for legitimacy in the age of Trump