Media censorship and bias reporting are the most common mistakes committed by several media companies. Because of these occurrences, a couple of organizations were formed to act as police dogs in combating irresponsible use of mass media in expressing opinions and relaying information. Two of these groups with the same advocacy are FAIR and Media Research Center.
FAIR is a “national media watch group” wherein their main purpose is to promote the First Amendment on freedom of expression by supporting media diversity while “scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints.”
They perform two duties, first they expose disregarded stories and support suppressed journalists and second they endorse structural reform in order to “break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information” (FAIR).
Their approach to media analysis is very critical or investigative on issues concerning the media industry. For example, in their article entitled “The Online Predator Scare Profiting from the panic,” FAIR scrutinized “NBC Dateline’s popular TV show, To Catch a Predator.” They argued that the show was more concerned with increasing their ratings rather than reporting one of today’s menacing threat to the public’s privacy and security.
Also, they mentioned that the show caused an “online child predator scare.” However, this panic was not generated by “outrage over an alleged threat to the moral order, but by the profit motives of an industry directly exploiting the scare” (Rendall).
Overall, FAIR’s manner of carrying out check and balance within the media world has been executed very well. They present several evidences to support their claims. Also, they managed to provide criticisms without sounding unprofessional or degrading to their subjects.
Meanwhile, for Media Research Center (MRC), they are known for their unbiased transmission of news. The formation of this group was motivated by the conservatives yearning to present stories that were supported by “quantitative and qualitative research.”
They have employed a “News Tracking System” which helps them to gather substantial and accurate evidences that can be used to challenge the liberal media. More so, their media analysis approach is more geared towards scientific analysis on various media issues. Most of their outputs are backed up by impartial proofs. The fundamental characteristic of MRC that influenced its success is “the ability to prove bias by using scientific studies and word-for-word quotes from the media (Media Research Center).
This is evident in one their reports entitled “Can MSNBC Get More Liberal? Yes, They Can!” This report showed the possible scenario if Ed Schultz, a liberal radio host, would join the ranks of prominent journalist at MSNC. Schultz is known for his nasty rhetoric on politics.
MRC provided a chronological account of some of Schultz memorable statements and actions that gained him his infamous reputation. In short, MRC only showed how MSNBC would look more biased and unprofessional if they let Schultz air his show on their network (O’Boyle).
Moreover, MRC’s analysis on the issue was concise and subtle but it was supported by facts and credible information which makes the overall conclusion valid and reliable. Because of their focus on providing straightforward and factual data, Media Research Center has become an “institutionalized machine on the issue of balance in the press” (Media Research Center).
“About Media Research Center.” 2009. Media Research Center. 16 April 2009 <http://www.mediaresearch.org/about/aboutwelcome.asp>
O’ Boyle, Colleen. “Can MSNBC Get More Liberal? Yes, They Can!” 26 March 2009. Media Research Center. 16 April 2009 <http://www.mrc.org/realitycheck/2009/fax20090326.asp>
Rendall, Steve. “The Online Predator Scare Profiting from the panic.” April 2009. Fair.org. 16 April 2009 <http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3752>
“What’s Fair?” 2009. Fair.org. 16 April 2009 <http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=100>
the Media Research Center has become an institutionalized machine on the issue of balance in the press.