FAIR: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

ACCESS: http://www.fair.org/fair/

In its capacity as a media-watch organization, FAIR produces a radio program, syndicated columns for newspapers, reports, and a magazine. Now FAIR's webpages make it possible for users to retrieve copyrighted electronic excerpts of this material by clicking on homepage links with the following labels: of special interest, EXTRA! magazine, CounterSpin radio show,"Media Beat" syndicated column, FAIR reports and miscellaneous, how to help FAIR, additional online resources, and FAIR contact information.

Selecting the CounterSpin link, for example, leads to transcripts of radio programs pointing out omissions and errors in broadcast and newspaper reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing, the United Nations, Haiti, and the environment. Among the other offerings are "Women's Desk" columns from the magazine Extra!, selected "Media Beat" columns criticizing such giants as Time magazine and The New York Times, a pamphlet on detecting media bias, and a litany of errors committed by talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh. Links within the texts lead to a handy index of related non-FAIR pages describing or discussing the linked item in greater detail.

Toward the bottom of the homepage is a link to other sites that point to FAIR's URL, making additional First Amendment, journalism, magazine, radio, and political pages easy to locate. Less helpful is the site's somewhat delayed updates, with the latest one two months old. Also missing from FAIR's text-oriented coverage is an insightful analysis of journalistic still and moving photography, which could be accompanied by Internet-accessible images for maximum impact.

Although the FAIR pages include information on how to order the organization's publications, audiotapes, and videotapes, this site is more than just a sales pitch masquerading as a homepage. Substantive material from a particular ("progressive") point of view is presented in a clear and well-organized format that students of the media will appreciate. Teachers and librarians will also want to refer students to FAIR for provocative, issues-oriented reporting and opinion.

Cheryl Knott Malone
The University of Texas at Austin
malone@uts.cc.utexas.edu


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