The Chinese government has pledged 45 billion yuan (nearly $6.6 billion) for media that target foreign audiences, "in an aggressive global drive to improve the country's image internationally." The Xinhua News Agency wants to use the funding to "expand its overseas bureaus from about 100 to 186," nearly enough to have a bureau in every country.
When television stations take the "'quick and dirty' route to health news coverage" by airing sponsored videos produced by public relations firms or other companies, it's a real problem, writes journalism professor Gary Schwitzer. For example, Ivanhoe Broadcast News (which was mentioned in the Center for Media and Democracy's "Fake TV News" report) puts out "single source stories with one spokesman from one institution touting one idea," complete with PR contacts.
There's nothing quite like a hotly contested election. The candidates have their devoted supporters and angry detractors. Then there are vigorous debates over the issues, while some people question the integrity of the entire process.
We speak, of course, of the Falsies Awards.
This year marks the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD's) fifth annual Falsies Awards. The Falsies are our attempt to shine an unflattering light on those responsible for polluting the information environment over the past year. We're happy to report that more people -- nearly 1,450 -- voted in this year's Falsies survey than ever before! We're also bestowing special recognition on one of this year's "winners."
Falsies recipients can collect their prizes -- a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, our two cents and a chance to atone for their spinning ways by making a detailed public apology -- by visiting CMD's office in Madison, Wisconsin. This year's Gold and Silver Falsies go to masters of war deception, while the Bronze Falsie recognizes a massive greenwash campaign. The first-ever Lifetime Achievement Falsie goes to a serial corporate front man, while a determined (if at times laughable) attempt at nation re-branding wins dishonorable mention. Then there are the Readers' Choice Falsies and Win Against Spin Awards, nominated by our survey participants.
An opinion column by David McKnight, an associate professor at the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, argues that "Rupert Murdoch's critics often make the mistake of caricaturing him as just another businessman, interested more in money than ideology. ... These claims underestimate Murdoch's powerful contribution to the shaping of political ideas in Britain, the U.S.