Media

Wash Post Called Out for Outsourcing "News" to the Fiscal Times

A conspicuously biased news article printed in the Washington Post on December 31, 2009 is raising the eyebrows of public policy experts, bloggers, media watchdogs other news outlets alike. Sign our petition to tell the Post no more fake news!

Titled "Support grows for tackling nation's debt," the article discusses a proposal to create a government commission to examine America's growing debt. The new commission, according to the article, would be charged with exploring "how to rein in skyrocketing spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," but the article failed to mention other significant sources of government spending, like the $663 billion military budget.

The story points to growing support for such a commission among political figures, but fails to mention the 40 or so prominent organizations that oppose the plan, including the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AARP, Common Cause, the AFL-CIO, and the National Organization for Women (NOW). The article was not written by Post reporters, but was produced by a startup "news" organization called the Fiscal Times, whose byline describes it is an "independent news publication that reports on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economic issues." But is it truly "independent"?

Exploiting the Exploiters' Hoax

Wasting no time, video game startup Heyzap.com in San Francisco has created a video game based on Colorado's "Balloon Boy" hoax that is circulating on the Web and through Twitter. In it, a young Falcon Heene clings to a tinfoil muffin-like balloon while flying through the air trying to shoot down things that get in his way, like UFOs, rainbows and birds.

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Another Reason to Worry: The Associated Press' New "Standard" for "News" Is Popularity

The Associated Press, which is increasingly relied upon by traditional papers dealing with staff cutbacks and by new media news re-"broadcasters" such as Yahoo, is signaling a worrisome shift in what it considers "news." Here is an excerpt from the Columbia Journalism Review's recent story about the AP's strategy retreat at Lake Placid:

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New York Times Admits Shutting Out Single-Payer

The media analysis group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) issued an action alert September 22 titled "NYT Slams Single-Payer" that described lopsided reporting in a New York Times article about "Medicare for all," a form of a single-payer health care system.

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