Think Tank Mentions Sink

Total media citations of think tanks were down for the fourth year in a row, according to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). FAIR's annual look at think tank media mentions found that "the decline primarily hit conservative or right-leaning think tanks," while "progressive or left-leaning think tanks" were "the only group to actually see an increase in their total citations." FAIR attributes the decrease to the "changing media landscape. .... The decrease in citations primarily comes from newspapers, not television; as newspapers fold and those that survive shrink their newshole, the overall news output by the outlets surveyed is decreasing. National and international news -- the areas national think tanks would most likely be quoted on -- are shrinking the fastest of all." Progressive think tanks addressing financial issues, including the Economic Policy Institute, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Center for Economic and Policy Research, boosted the number of left-leaning think tank citations. Meanwhile, "the economic crisis and the poor showing of conservative candidates in the 2008 elections appear to have raised questions about the role of conservative think tanks." Yet, "we are still a long way from true diversity of news sources," concludes FAIR.