MINDING THE MEDIA

A  directory of public-interest organizations concerned with the mass media.  Also good for connecting to media-action groups and learning about events.  Most of these organizations have email listservs for updates, news and action items - to which you can subscribe.

 

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

NewsWatch Canada

Media Channel

Adbusters

GuerillaMedia

FAIR:  Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Project Censored

Campaign for Press and Broadcast Freedom (U.K.)

 

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom   The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF) is an alliance of readers, viewers, those working in the media, and labour and community groups concerned about the increasing concentration of media ownership in Canada. Primary targets: corporate takeovers and media monopolies (“species Mediasaurus,” as the CPBF calls them). Primary objectives: diversity of media ownership, editorial freedom, and public awareness of media developments.

Free The Media, the CPBF’s electronic journal, carries probing articles on media bias and other media issues. NewsWatch monitors developments in the news and information industries. Also on the CPBF website: news updates, branch contact information, media ownership data, links to other organizations, and legislative recommendations.  Top

NewsWatch Canada   Independent research on news coverage, with a focus on blindspots and double standards. NewsWatch Canada is a project of the School of Communications, Simon Fraser University. The NewsWatch Monitor section carries the key articles. For the first three years (1993-95) the project functioned as Project Censored Canada, providing a top ten list of under-reported stories. These early finding are archived on the site (see Previous Yearbooks).  Top

Media Channel   MediaChannel is a nonprofit, public-interest organization dedicated to global media issues. The MediaChannel site offers news, reports and commentary from its international network of organizations and publications, as well as original features from contributors and staff. Resources include thematic special reports, action toolkits, forums for discussion, an education centre for teachers and kids, an indexed directory of hundreds of affiliated groups (CPBF and NewsWatch Canada are affiliated), and a search engine constituting the single largest online media-issues database.  Top

Adbusters   The original uncommercial organization, famous for its award-winning activist magazine, its ad spoofs and counter-commercials, and its culture-jamming campaigns, most notably Buy Nothing Day, November 23. Its mission, formally stated: to transform our commercial media culture and direct it to ecological and social awareness.  Top

GuerillaMedia   Parody! Satire! Cartoon sketches! Step right up! Guerrilla Media, a Vancouver-based group of media critics, pokes fun at the powerful and lampoons media power with a barbed wit that’s unique in the internet world. It’s National Post Website covers national affairs, including the games media moguls play. Of special interest to media watchers, although covering only British Columbia: The Tattler, providing behind-the-scenes gossip on the news-shapers who manage the public’s news diet.  Top

FAIR:  Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting   FAIR, the American media-watch group, opens the lid on media bias and censorship and advocates greater media diversity. It scrutinizes media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, it exposes important news stories that are neglected and defends working journalists when they are muzzled. FAIR’s website is impressive for its detail and scope, in providing the news behind the headlines. FAIR also publishes Extra!, an award-winning magazine of media criticism.  Top

Project Censored   Project Censored, at Sonoma State University in California, each year publishes a list of the top 25 censored media stories - major stories about which the public should be aware, but isn’t, because the stories are so badly underreported. The aim is to stimulate journalists to provide more coverage of those issues and to encourage the general public to demand that coverage. As with FAIR, most of the attention is given to American stories, but Project Censored’s work remains invaluable to readers and viewers everywhere.  Top

Campaign for Press and Broadcast Freedom (U.K.)   This British organization is the original CPBF, which inspired the creation of its counterpart in Canada and whose equivalent in the U.S. is FAIR. CPBF’s U.K. work, calling for a breakup of media concentration and for accountability, has a particular resonance for Canadians where concentration of media ownership is perhaps even more extreme. The presence of the BBC and also ITV (which still pretends an interest in “public-service broadcasting”) in the U.K. adds another dimension, as does the CPBF’s proximity to western Europe and relative distance from U.S. media power.  Top