Media Studies: Media Watchers & Activists


Accuracy in Media (AIM)
A right-wing news watchdog organization that claims to critique "botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."
This organization makes its critiques with humor and satire, especially through mock ads of their own and serious ads they call "uncommercials" that make anti-consumerism arguments. They sponsor the TV Turnoff Week campaign. They publish a bi-monthly magazine (available online and in newsstand).
Alternative Media Watch
A site from the Z magazine people. a self-identified progressive and left organization. In additon to articles on the media this site features an extensive list of links to alternative media sites.
AlterNet (Independent Media Institute)
"Dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism.…AlterNet's online magazine provides a mix of news, opinion and investigative journalism on subjects ranging from the environment, the drug war, technology and cultural trends to policy debate, sexual politics and health issues."
American Review
"Critiques the media, promotes media activism, and calls for media reform … from a progrssive point of view." Formerly known as "The Real News Page" it is edited by Jane Wardlow Prettyman, formerly at (the old) Esquire Magazine.
Benton Foundation
A nonprofit that subscribes to the traditional American believe, so well articulated by John Dewey, that communication enables democracy and solves social problems. It publishes free e-mail newsletters including "Communications-Related Headines, a daily newsclipping service, "Headlines Extra," a bi-weekly service with each issue devoted to a particular issue, "Digital Beat," a bi-weekly summary of current trends in digital broadcasting, and others. -- Rocky Mountain Media Watch
"founded in 1994 by activists with media and research skills to challenge the unbalanced and unhealthy diet of information presented by the media corporations. Our focus is local TV news." This Denver based group has published a number of books, most recently Not in the Public Interest: A Snapshot of Local TV News in America.
Center for Media & Public Affairs
"The Center's goal is to provide an empirical basis for ongoing debates over media fairness and impact through well-documented, timely, and readable studies of media content. …Our scientific approach sets us apart from self appointed media "watchdog" groups, while our timeliness and outreach distinguishes us from traditional academic researchers."
  FAIR's weekly (noncommercial) radio show with both current and archived programs available onlive via RealPlayer. "CounterSpin exposes and highlights biased and inaccurate news; censored stories; sexism, racism and homophobia in the news; the power of corporate influence; gaffes and goofs by leading TV pundits; TV news' narrow political spectrum; attacks on free speech; and more."
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
What Accuracy in Media is to the right, FAIR is to the left. They " work 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. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled." They put selected articles from their magazine Extra! online and are the producers of "Counterspin."
Grade the News
A project sponsored by a San Jose PBS station, KTEH, and affiliated with Stanford University's Graduate Program in Journalism. "In journalism, entertainment should serve information. Making the important interesting is the journalist’s challenge. What’s merely interesting may add spice. But when spice becomes the main course, self-government chokes." One of the vauable resources here are the "Stars and Dunces" summaries of good and bad stories with links to some originals.
"MediaChannel is concerned with the political, cultural and social impacts of the media, large and small. MediaChannel exists to provide information and diverse perspectives and inspire debate, collaboration, action and citizen engagement." They claim to be "the first media and democracy supersite."
Media Alliance
A non-profit organization based in San Francisco. "Our mission is excellence, ethics, diversity, and accountability in all aspects of the media in the interests of peace, justice, and social responsibility."
Media Research Center
Their featured link says it best: "Media Bias Basics: Twenty Years of Surveys Prove Liberalism." Their mission: "bringing political balance to the nation's news media and responsibility to the entertainment media." Their claim: "the nation's largest and most respected conservative media watchdog organization." They tape "over 200 hours a week" of television programs and conduct daily content analysis "identifying bias in the process." They also "comb through" print media.
National Institute on Media and the Family
A resource for teachers, parents, and others "who are interested in the influence of electronic media on early childhood education, child development, academic performance, culture and violence. … dedicated to promoting the positive use of media in building healthy families and healthy communities."
News Watch
News Watch is a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism of the San Francisco State University Journalism Department. Their mission: "To promote healthy candid dialogue among journalists regarding coverage of people of color, lesbians and gays, and other communities which have been the victim of biased reporting or ignored by the news media - to examine both good and bad coverage in ways that help us learn lessons - to seek out or develop resources which will help all journalists do a better job at covering our complex, diverse world."
On the Media
  A weekly program that can be heard on many public radio stations (see their station guide for carriage and broadcast times in your area). More newsy than outright critical, still an interesting and well produced program in the NPR mold. Netcasts of past programs can be listened to online via RealPlayer with a choice between individual stories or the whole broadcast.
Online NewsHour: Mediawatch
    Public Broadcasting's major news program "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer' devotes a section of its Web site to media stories that features Web versions of stories from the broadcast. Available in both streaming audio and video as well as a text transcription. Similar to NPRs On the Media covers media as news with stories on the style of news delivery, media industry takeovers and layoffs and perennial stories on struggles between journalists and the courts.
PR Watch
Public Interest Reporting on the PR/Public Affairs Industry. "PR Watch offers investigative reporting on the public relations industry. We help the public recognize manipulative and misleading PR practices by exposing the activities of secretive, little-known propaganda-for-hire firms that work to control political debates and public opinion.
Project Censored
"The Primary Objective of Project Censored is to explore and publicize the extent of censorship in our society by locating stories about significant issues of which the public should be aware, but is not, for one reason or another." Sponsored by Sonoma State University, California.
Project for Excellence in Journalism
Part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the project "is an initiative by journalists to clarify and raise the standards of American journalism."
Tyndall Report
"Tyndall Report monitors the American television networks' weekday nightly newscasts. The statistics quoted in the Tyndall Weekly measure the time devoted to each story in minutes on all three networks (ABC, CBS and NBC combined) on Monday through Friday each week." Published by ADT Research.
Utne Reader - Media page
The magazine that reprints selected articles from the alternative press includes articles on the media picked for their ability to provoke thought with a mildly progressive slant, but less interested in specific ax grinding than many of the resources on this page.

Narrowly Focused Media Watch Organizations

American Hellenic Media Project    (alternate location)
Like all media watchers this group says it fights bias and encourages fair journalism but its primary purpose is to "confront misograecism in the media and to address the negative posture of our nation's press and media towards issues of concern to the Hellenic, Armenian and Orthodox Christian communities."
Asian American MediaWatch
Lists Asian-friendly movies, rates magazine coverage in their Major Magazines Report Card, and maintains a list of short news items on Asian Americans in the news.
Corporate Media Watch
An anarchist site that keeps its collective eyes on capitalist groups like Chiquita and Monsanto.
DawnWatch - An Animal Rights and Welfare News and Media Watch
"DawnWatch will follow Peter Singer's lead and focus mostly on food and experimentation."
Electronic Intifada
"A resource for countering myth, distorion and spin from the Israeli media war machine."
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
GLAAD too is "dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate" media coverage and representation. Their goal: "eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition to praising and criticizing media coverage they provide suggestions to media people for ways to do less biased reporting of upcoming events and issues.
"Dedicated to ensuring that Israel receives fair media coverage." They monitor media for "anti-Israel bias" and organize complaints to the offending media organizations.
Hype: Monitoring the Black Image in the Media
The Center on Blacks and the Media, monitors all types of media and content and publishes its observations in magazine form.
Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA)
"To create an environment free of racism through acccurate, balanced, and sensitive Asian American images."
Media Watch
"Our goal is to challenge abusive stereotypes and other biased images commonly found in the media. Media Watch, which began in 1984, distributes educational videos, media literacy information and newsletters to help create more informed consumers of the mass media."
National Abortion Rights Action League, Choice in the Headlines
NARAL tracks news related to their issues but do not do any analysis and do not urge action against particular media organizations here, their activism tends to target national and state legislators and the general public Links to news stories are organized by news source.
National Welfare Monitoring & Advocacy Partnership Media Watch
"…helps respond to misinformation and inaccuracies about welfare and poverty" in media.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Stigma Alert Listings
An e-mail alert subscription that claims 7,500 members organized to fight "the pervasive and hurtful stigma that exists toward persons with mental illness -and- also commending print media, TV and films that send accurate messages to the public."
Social Issues Research Centre MediaWatch
Health, Nutrition and Science Reporting Around the world

Regional Media Watch Organizations

Bulgarian Media Watch Society
Concerned with media legislation, freedom and journalist rights "vital for the young Bulgarian democracy."
Chicago Media Watch
Currently under reconstruction
Germany Alert
"The publication attempts to provide concerned public opinion, the news media and human rights organizations with "the free flow of uncensored facts" about nationalism, anti-Semitism and repression."
Israel's Media Watch
Seems to be an amateur endeavor "to assure the media's high ethical standard, as fitting fo a democratic and pluralistic society."
New Jersey MediaWatch
"A coalition concerned about the effects of media concentration in New Jersey and nationally."
New Zealand Mediawatch
Not strictly regional, but this radio programme does have many stories on Kiwi media. Text transcriptions only.
Nigeria Media Monitor
A project of the Independent Journalism Centre that. "publishes regular alerts on freedom of expression rights violations, and Media Monitor, an authoritative weekly digest of developments within the Nigerian media scene."
Pacific Media Watch
"Examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region."
Palestine Media Watch
Pro-Palestinian with activist appeals to contact media organizations and journalists, even "Adopt a paper."

Media Watchers and Activists