Accuracy in Media was founded in 1969 by a group of concerned citizens, led by economist Reed Irvine, who were troubled by the inaccuracies and one-sidedness they saw in the American media. Frustrated by the media’s unwillingness to address their individual concerns, they banded together to form Accuracy in Media, hoping that an organization would have more clout than individuals in getting the media to correct serious errors.
AIM began by sending letters to newspaper editors asking for corrections. If a newspaper refused to correct the error or print the letter, AIM bought advertising space in the paper to print the correction. In 1972, Accuracy in Media started publishing the AIM Report, a newsletter dedicated to correcting serious media errors. AIM began purchasing stock in major media corporations in 1975, which enabled its representatives to attend news companies’ annual shareholder meetings and ask executives to resolve issues with the corporation’s reporting. In an unprecedented victory in 1984, AIM persuaded PBS to air a documentary it produced challenging the network’s coverage of the Vietnam War.
AIM has built on these methods through the years, publishing countless articles, books, pamphlets, advertisements, documentaries, special reports, and commentaries; holding rallies, protests, and special events; and finding creative ways to draw attention to the issue of media bias and inaccuracy.
Originally a tiny all-volunteer group, Accuracy in Media has grown into an influential organization with several full-time media analysts and thousands of supporters. AIM has enjoyed great success in exposing and correcting errors, educating the public to become intelligent news consumers, and convincing media organizations to address errors they have made.