Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting logo.jpg
Motto The National Progressive Media Watchdog
Formation 1986
Founder Jeff Cohen, Martin A. Lee
Type Nonprofit
Purpose Media criticism
Products Extra! magazine, CounterSpin radio program
Website fair.org

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City.[1] The organization was founded in 1986 by Jeff Cohen and Martin A. Lee.[2] FAIR describes itself as "the national media watch group".[2] The organization has been described as both progressive and left-wing.[3][4][5][6][7]

FAIR monitors the U.S. news media for "inaccuracy, bias, and censorship" and advocates for greater diversity of perspectives in news reporting. It is opposed to corporate ownership of media entities and calls for the break-up of media conglomerates.[8] FAIR publishes Extra!, a monthly magazine of media criticism, and produces the CounterSpin radio program.


FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints." FAIR refers to itself as a "progressive group that believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong nonprofit sources of information."[2]


First published in 1987, Extra!, FAIR's bi-monthly magazine, features analysis of current media bias, censorship, and effects of media consolidation. Covering a variety of issues, FAIR addresses news coverage that it finds biased with rebuttals. FAIR also produces CounterSpin, a half-hour radio program hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall, and Peter Hart, recorded at MercerMedia in NYC. It broadcasts nationally on more than 130 radio stations and is available in MP3 and RealAudio format on the web.

FAIR has frequently criticized US media coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, taking issue with the assertion that "Hugo Chávez is an autocrat who has consolidated one-party rule."[9][10]

In 2008, FAIR criticized American media for coverage during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States by claiming that he received a "pass on Church abuse history."[11]


In 1990, Walter Goodman wrote an article in The New York Times comparing FAIR and Accuracy in Media and stated that the two groups' "criticism of television and the press is often provocative. But it is always tendentious", and that FAIR focuses on criticizing right-wing bias in the media.[4]

While NPR was speaking of "groups that claim to be media watchdogs" and "are guilty of using AstroTurf-type names that disguise their real missions", NPR pointed to FAIR, stating that "FAIR leans to the left and often criticizes the news media for giving too much time to conservative viewpoints".[5] In 1990, Reed Irvine, then chairman of the conservative Accuracy in Media media watchdog organization stated "FAIR reflects the views of that numerically insignificant group who used to regard Pol Pot as a hero and who wept at the defeat of Daniel Ortega ... Their Marxist class interpretation of media behavior is simply kooky, and their insistence that the media are dominated by conservatives makes sense only to people who think that anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky is conservative."[4] Walter Goodman of The New York Times also said that FAIR's "tone and language, notably the appropriation of words like progressive and public interest leaders and popular movements to adorn individuals and groups that suit Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting are shrill signals of its affinities."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hays, Constance L. (May 19, 1996). "MAKING IT WORK;FAIR or Not?". New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "What's FAIR?". Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Despite Signs of Revival, Critics Call 'Fairness Doctrine' Outdated Swipe at Modern Market; Fox News; February 19, 2009
  4. ^ a b c d Goodman, Walter (June 17, 1990). "TV VIEW; Let's Be Frank About Fairness And Accuracy –". New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Shepard, Alicia C. (12 April 2011). "What to Think about Think Tanks?". NPR. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Callahan, David (2010). Fortunes of change : the rise of the liberal rich and the remaking of America. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0470177112. 
  7. ^ Sheppard, Si (2008). The partisan press : a history of media bias in the United States. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0786432820. 
  8. ^ Hollar, Julie. "Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Rendall, Steve. "The Repeatedly Re-Elected Autocrat". Fair.org. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Region: Venezuela". FAIR. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ FAIR.org

External links[edit]