News Release

Media Reform

The three-day National Conference for Media Reform begins Friday in St. Louis. The following media analysts, who will be attending the conference, are available for interviews:

PETER HART
Hart is with Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. He said today: “We have documented a pattern of bias in major media over the years in a number of studies of various media outlets including NPR and Fox News Channel. The public’s dissatisfaction with mainstream media is connected to the real journalistic failures of our time: insufficient skepticism, press-state coziness, and the marginalization of significant segments of society. This conference comes at a historically significant moment, with activists mobilizing on issues of media accountability, ownership, new technologies and copyright law — but all these concerns are related to the content of media, and the fact that when media do not fulfill the role they should, democracy suffers.”
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JOSEPH TORRES
Deputy director for communications and media policy for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Torres said today: “By 2050, people of color will make up more than half of the U.S. population. Yet, people of color have been historically excluded by the mass media. … It is critical that people of color play a central role in fighting for public interest obligations that reflect the diversity of viewpoints that exist in our communities.”

Torres co-wrote (with Juan Gonzalez) the paper “How Long Must We Wait: The Fight for Racial and Ethnic Equality in the American News Media.” He commented: “We found that while people of color make up a third of the nation’s population, they own less than 4 percent of all radio stations and 2 percent of all TV stations. In addition, journalists of color make up just 13 percent of all newsroom employees working at daily newspapers and 21 percent of all newsroom employees working at local English-language newspapers.”
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DAVID MICHAELIS
Director of current affairs for Link TV, Michaelis said today: “We [Link TV] get into about 25 million homes via satellite and offer programming that brings a very different perspective than what U.S. viewers are used to. We emphasize non-U.S. perspectives with our daily Mosaic program, which features news programming from the Mideast in raw form — it’s just translated. We recently won a Peabody for that. We also feature quality documentaries from around the world that emphasize unheard voices. We find that there is a hunger among people in the U.S. for global news content. We are increasingly focusing on finding ways to work with local media and activists.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167