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Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.

FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints." FAIR refers to itself as a "progressive group that believes 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."[1]

Contents

Media outlets

First published in 1987, Extra!, FAIR's bi-monthly magazine, features analysis of current media bias, censorship, and effects of media consolidation. Covering a variety of issues, FAIR addresses news coverage that it finds biased with rebuttals. FAIR also produces CounterSpin, a half-hour radio program hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall, and Peter Hart, recorded at MercerMedia in NYC. It broadcasts nationally on over 130 radio stations and is available in MP3 and RealAudio format on the web.

Criticism

In 1990, Walter Goodman wrote an article in the The New York Times comparing FAIR and Accuracy in Media and stated that the two groups' "criticism of television and the press is often provocative. But it is always tendentious", and that FAIR's "target invariably is bias on the right."[2]

Positions

FAIR has said that in the range of opinion discussed in the mass media, the right side of a discussion is usually represented by a committed supporter of right-wing causes, while the left side is often represented by a centrist.[3]

Notable events

In May 2002, Jeff Cohen, a FAIR founder, left the organization to work as a producer on Phil Donahue's short-lived talk show on MSNBC.

In October 2002, FAIR's Action Alert citing the underestimate of the size of a massive anti-Iraq War rally led to a National Public Radio apology to its listeners and a followup article in the New York Times that Editor & Publisher suggested was written "in response to many organized protest letters sent to the Times since the paper's weak, and inaccurate, initial article about the march on Sunday."

In February 2004, a FAIR Action Alert led ABC World News Tonight and the New York Times to expand their coverage of the Federal Marriage Amendment to explain the legal ramifications of the issue.[citation needed]

In 2006, FAIR criticized U.S. media coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, taking issue with the assertion that "... Hugo Chávez is an autocrat who has consolidated one-party rule".[4] FAIR has frequently criticized corporate media coverage of the Chávez government.[5][6][7][8][9]

In 2008, FAIR criticized American media for coverage that was too positive during Pope Benedict's visit to the United States, claiming that he got a "pass on Church abuse history." [10]

A letter sent out by FAIR in 1993 included the erroneous claim that violence against women increased by 40% on Super Bowl Sundays. FAIR later told the Boston Globe "It should not have gone out in FAIR materials."[11]

See also

References

External links

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