Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Uproar continues over Sinclair-owned stations, including KATU, and 'fake stories' promos

Uproar continues over Sinclair-owned stations, including KATU, and 'fake stories' promos

Sinclair Broadcast Group has been the subject of widespread ridicule for forcing its local TV news anchors to read a script decrying "fake stories" and "false news".

The script includes mentions of "the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country", and the "sharing of biased and false news" on social media and in "some media outlets" that publish "fake stories" without checking facts.

Plenty of others disagree, calling the move "Orwellian" and "extremely risky to our democracy", while defenders including President Donald Trump say it's legit in the era of fake news. After receiving more than 50, he fashioned them into a video that shows anchors reading different portions of the text, either simultaneously or one after the other.

Sinclair's pending purchase of Tribune would allow it to reach 72 percent of TV-owning households in the US. The message, echoing President Donald Trump's cries of "fake news", has been criticized on cable news, and even some of Sinclair's anchors, who feel compelled to read it, possibly due to their contracts.

"Sinclair's employee handbook.states that the company 'may monitor, intercept, and review, without further notice, every employee's activities using company's electronic resources and communications systems, '" the Huffington Post reported.

Something productive has come from the publicity of Sinclair's latest stunt in that consumers now know to be critical of the news they consume.

Last month, Sinclair Broadcasting Corp. was called out for mandating that its local stations take on a scripted promotional campaign. "Just no credibility", said David Smith, Sinclair's executive to NY magazine in a piece published Tuesday.

Local stations were instructed to run the messages during news programs.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students Now Have To Carry Clear Backpacks
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to campus Monday with stepped-up security and clear backpacks. There were also armed guards and Broward Sheriff's deputies inside the school. "Just implement a system that works".

But Sinclair's influence might not be so apparent going forward; it might be far more hard to track.

Sinclair is in the process of purchasing Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.

We went through Sinclair's list of stations and found all of those affiliated with a major network or designated under its own call letters.

Last spring, reporting on the company's ambitions, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik wrote, "If history is any guide".

The scripted promo is raising tension among journalists who work for the Sinclair Company, one investigative reporter on the condition of anonymity told CNN Money: "It sickens me the way this company is encroaching upon trusted news brands in rural markets,".

In July 2017, Oliver blasted the broadcaster's conservative-leaning practices and its "must-run" video segments made for local stations.

Naturally, people were not happy with the blatant silencing of the freedom of the press.

Trump defended Sinclair via tweet Monday.

Like this: