• Hijacking Democracy

    October 26, 2012

    Former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps gave a talk Thursday about whether the media will strengthen our democracy — or destroy it.

    His assessment — given after he spent more than a decade overseeing the industry — is disturbing. Copps has long argued that the media in general, and TV broadcasters in particular, need to do a lot more to nourish civic discourse.

  • District of Columbia or Domain of Cash?

    October 24, 2012
    Las Vegas made news last week when the New York Times reported that more political ads have aired in Sin City than anywhere else this election season. In fact, stations there have shortened news programs just to accommodate the ad glut. There’s a similar dance going on in our nation’s capital.
  • Join the Money, Media and Elections National Data Happy Hour!

    October 19, 2012

    Here at Free Press we’ve been talking a lot about how TV stations are raking in billions of dollars from political ads— and are failing to fact-check those ads, or cover the shady groups behind them.

    Now we want to pull back the curtain and let you see what’s going on behind the scenes at local TV stations. On Thurs., Oct. 25, Free Press and the Sunlight Foundation are holding a Money, Media and Elections National Data Happy Hour — and you’re invited!

  • Your Lying TV

    October 19, 2012

    In 2012, politics are all about spreading lies and making money.

    And we’re not talking nickels and dimes. Campaigns and Super PACs are raising billions of dollars to win over voters. A large chunk of that money ends up in the pockets of local broadcasters who are selling off the airwaves to place political ads. And way too many of these ads are dishonest.

    If you're a television viewer in a battleground market that means having to endure a relentless stream of misinformation. Best estimates are that more than half a million political ads will air nationwide by Election Day.

  • In Las Vegas, the News Don't Come Cheap

    October 17, 2012

    It’s a known fact that TV stations are hitting the jackpot this year when it comes to political ads. But one city is taking it to a whole new level.

    The New York Times reported that Las Vegas has reached the top of the charts for the number of political ads aired — clocking in at about 10,000 ads per week, with at least 98 different ads in rotation.

  • You're Invited!

    October 16, 2012

    There's a party coming to Denver next April. And Free Press is throwing it.

    At the National Conference for Media Reform, you’ll meet up with activists from around the country and get inspired about ways to change the media and build a better democracy. Our conference truly has it all: hands-on workshops, speeches, networking opportunities — even dance-offs.

  • The Dirty Truth

    October 11, 2012
    If you rifle through some history textbooks, you’ll see that some pretty significant stuff has happened on Oct. 10th. Some of it's pretty dark. But good things have happened on Oct. 10 too. Consider Oct. 10, 2012, the day the Political Ad Sleuth database went live.
  • Political Hush Money

    October 8, 2012
    The Miami Herald's Edward Wasserman cites two Free Press reports on political ad spending in a cutting commentary on the state of local television news. “The funders of political advertising appear to have purchased not just airtime, but immunity from media scrutiny,” writes Wasserman.
  • One Minute of News vs. 162 Minutes of Ads

    October 2, 2012

    Denver is playing host to the first presidential debate of 2012, but for TV viewers in the Rocky Mountain State, the political mudslinging has been going on for months, thanks in large part to the deluge of political ads from Super PACs and other third-party groups.

  • Idea Time!

    September 10, 2012
    The deadline to pitch the next great session for the National Conference for Media Reform was supposed to be today. But I’ve heard from many of you that a few more days would be helpful. Good news: I’ve extended the deadline to Mon., Sept. 17, so get those ideas rolling.