Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What is Accuracy In Media(AIM)?

Accuracy In Media is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.

What is the goal of AIM?

We encourage members of the media to report the news fairly and objectively–without resorting to bias or partisanship.

Why is it necessary for the media to have a watchdog?

Quite frankly, the news media don’t always get their stories right. What’s worse, many of them don’t even seem to care. By advising them of their responsibility to the public, whom they claim to serve, AIM helps to nudge the members of the news media into greater accountability for their actions.

How do you know the media are biased?

In addition to a number of major media surveys, The American Society of Newspaper Editors published a 1999 study that showed 78% of Americans said there is a news bias in the media.
(‘Editors group releases preliminary journalism credibility study,” http://www.asne.org/kiosk/news/98jcp.htm)

Furthermore, not only do the overwhelming majority of citizens believe there is a bias, but they say that bias is overwhelmingly liberal. This, according to a 2003 poll conducted by the Princeton Review Research Associates for PEW Research Center for The People & The Press,  shows a 2 to 1 margin of respondents believe their media coverage is slanted to the left.
(“Strong Opposition to Media Cross Ownership Emerges: Public Wants Neutrality and Pro American Point of View,” http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=188)

The public seems to be correct. According to another poll from the PEW Research Center conducted by the Princeton Review Research Associates in 2004, “about a third of national journalists (34%) and 23 % of local journalists describe themselves as liberals.” A mere 7% of journalists described themselves as conservative.
(“How Journalists See Journalists,” http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=829)

But how do you know the media’s political opinions influence their reporting?

Many of them are actually admitting it these days. They admit they’re anti-business, pro-big government, anti-family and anti-religion. A couple of years ago, CBS commentator Bernard Goldberg caused quite a stir by saying in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that he couldn’t believe people were actually still arguing about whether or not the media were liberal, because it was so obviously true.

If bias in reporting is so pervasive, how can members of the press keep getting away with it?

One reason is that despite its First Amendment protection, the press has no enforceable code of ethics for professional conduct. A lawyer who lies can be jailed for contempt of court. A surgeon who messes up an operation can lose his license. A corporation that falsifies reports can face serious troubles with the SEC. However, a journalist doesn’t have to surrender his press card for faulty reporting.

How does Accuracy In Media call attention to this problem?

AIM publishes a twice-monthly newsletter, broadcasts a daily radio commentary, promotes a speaker’s bureau and syndicates a weekly newspaper column–all geared to setting the record straight on important stories that the media have botched, bungled or ignored. We also attend the annual shareholders’ meetings of large media organizations and encourage our members to bombard newsrooms with postcards and letters about biased and inaccurate news coverage.

If Accuracy In Media is doing so much to counteract the media’s misdeeds, then why isn’t the problem solved?

There are many reasons for this. One of them is that since most journalism school graduates have not been properly educated about the importance of telling the truth, there is a constant influx of new journalists who start out on the wrong foot. Also, the journalism profession has become a powerful manipulator of public opinion. This power has inspired an arrogance which leads many in the media to believe they should be insulated from criticism. Chances are if you call up your local paper and complain to a reporter or editor about an inaccurate story, the person responsible for it won’t even talk to you. AIM believes that the public has a right to get the facts, and that journalists should be exposed when they do not adhere to their professed ethical standards.

How can I help Accuracy In Media in this difficult task?

You can BECOME A MEMBER OF AIM and add your voice to those of the thousands of other concerned citizens who support its vital work. You’ll be able to get our twice-monthly newsletter, log onto our latest critiques on AIM’s web page and receive information about AIM conferences, discount books and tapes and numerous other benefits.

How much does it cost?

A one-year subscription costs just $25 for individuals or families in the United States. Individual subscriptions sent to Canada are $35, and for all other countries the cost is $50 for subscriptions sent to individuals or families. Institutional subscriptions cost $35 within the U.S. and $40 in Canada; all other international subscriptions are $60. E-mail list subscriptions are free.

What is the comment policy for aim.org?

We welcome comments and criticism as long as they are civil and pertinent to the topic.  Abusive comments — including personal or ad hominem attacks on other users, offensive language, and off-topic comments — may be deleted.  We reserve the right to ban users who repeatedly violate these policies.

Accuracy in Media does not share the personal information (including email and IP addresses) of users who comment on its website with any third parties.


Officers:
Donald Irvine, Chairman
Gene Schaerr, President
Joan Hueter, Vice-President
Samuel Shepard Jones, Jr., Treasurer
Roger Aronoff, Executive Secretary

Directors:
James Davis, Financial Consultant
John Esposito, Chief of Police MTA NY, Retired
Fred Gielow, Jr., Author

National Advisory Board:

Arnold Beichman, Writer and Analyst
Midge Decter, Writer
Jesse Lee Petersen, President of B.O.N.D
R. Adm. William C. Mott, USN (Ret), Vice-President, National Strategy Information Center
Dr. Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus, Rockefeller University
James L. Tyson, President, Council for the Defense of Freedom