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Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Fakest Time of the Year: The 2007 Falsies Awards - CMD

Win Against Spin Awards

WikipediaWikipedia logoIf PR were as effective as its practitioners make it out to be, we'd all be in deep trouble. Luckily, savvy reporters, citizen journalists and other media watchdogs have been effective at debunking spin and spreading media literacy. We would like to take a snark-free moment to honor the following Wins Against Spin, which were also nominated by our readers.

  • WikiScanner, an innovative program by self-described "disruptive technologist" Virgil Griffith, which maps anonymous edits to Wikipedia, the popular online collaborative encyclopedia. WikiScanner caught several PR firms whitewashing entries on themselves and their clients, such as Hill & Knowton's deleting passages on human rights abuses by the Maldives government. "WikiScanner is one of the few positive things to come out of this year's War On Spin," wrote one reader.
  • Democracy Now!, the independent daily television and radio news program hosted by Amy Goodman. "In my opinion," wrote its nominator, Democracy Now! "is the best anti-spin ... news available in the media to a mass audience." The multiple award-winning show currently airs on more than 650 stations and describes itself as "the largest public media collaboration in the U.S."
  • The Center for Media and Democracy -- oh, here's where we got nominated! Thanks to the reader who suggested CMD "pat yourselves on the back for progress at the FCC," referring to our research into video news releases (VNRs) or "fake TV news," and our work with the media reform group Free Press in support of VNR disclosure. In September 2007, the Federal Communications Commission proposed its first-ever fines for undisclosed VNR broadcasts. Comcast, the media company that may be fined, is currently appealing to the FCC.


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