Center for Media and Democracy ( CMD) is a progressive nonprofit watchdog and advocacy organization based in Madison, Wisconsin.      CMD publishes PR Watch, SourceWatch, and ALECexposed.org.
History [ ]
CMD was founded in 1993 by
progressive writer John Stauber in Madison, Wisconsin. Lisa Graves is the former president of CMD.  Author  Sheldon Rampton was formerly an or of PR Watch.
In a report released on April 6, 2006, CMD listed information on 77 television stations that had broadcast
video news releases (VNRs) in the prior 10 months. CMD said that in each case the television station actively disguised the VNR content to make it appear to be its own reporting, and that in more than one-third of the cases, the stations aired the pre-packaged VNR in its entirety. In August 2006, the Federal Communications Commission mailed formal letters to the owners of the 77 television stations, asking for information regarding agreements between the stations and the creators of VNRs, and asking whether there was any "consideration" given to the stations in return for airing the material.   
In 2014, CMD merged with
, a The Progressive progressive monthly magazine, but separated after six months.
CMD has investigated and reported on
donor-advised funds, referring to such donations as a form of " dark money". According to the of Capital Times Madison, Wisconsin, CMD is a recipient of donor-advised funds via the Schwab Charitable Fund.
Characterization [ ]
referred to CMD as a New York Times watchdog organization.    described CMD as "a liberal organization that tracks the use of public relations by corporations and politicians." The Washington Post A May 2012 article in  , an Isthmus alternative weekly newspaper based in Madison, Wisconsin, referred to CMD as an "activist group". A  political columnist referred to CMD as "left-wing" and "liberal." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel CMD was referred to as "uber-liberal" by the conservative news website  Watchdog.org. CMD has been referred to as a "liberal advocacy group" by  , the The Des Moines Register , the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , and the Wisconsin State Journal . La Crosse Tribune    
CMD disputes the characterization of "liberal" and describes itself as a "non-profit investigative reporting group" with a "focus on exposing corporate spin and government propaganda."
Online projects [ ]
PR Watch [ ]
PR Watch is CMD's investigative reporting website.
ALEC Exposed [ ]
CMD hosts the ALEC Exposed website, which is a
wiki focusing on the American Legislative Exchange Council and the political activities of the Koch brothers.  The "ALEC Exposed" project was featured in the 2012  Bill Moyers documentary film, United States of ALEC. 
SourceWatch [ ]
CMD hosts the
wiki SourceWatch. According to the project's website, it "aims to produce a directory of  public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interest groups." CMD sets the orial and security policies under which SourceWatch operates.   Unlike  Wikipedia, SourceWatch does not require a "neutral point of view."
From 2006 to 2009, SourceWatch hosted Congresspedia, a wiki that was funded by the
Sunlight Foundation and intended to document the activities of the United States Congress.
Funding [ ]
CMD states that it accepts donations from "individuals and philanthropic foundations through gifts and grants", but "no funding from for-profit corporations or grants from government agencies." It maintains a partial list of supporters on its website.
In a column for
Fox News, Dan Gainor wrote that CMD received $200,000 from the Open Society Institute (OSI), a grantmaking network founded by George Soros, aimed to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. CMD stated that it received a grant from OSI "to continue work on national security issues". 
 Fox News reported that in 2011 CMD received $864,740 in donations. $520,000, or 60% of 2011's total revenue, was received from the Schwab Charitable Fund, a donor advised fund which preserves the anonymity of donors by not disclosing individual donor names.
According to the conservative news website
Watchdog.org, the Tides Foundation, a foundation known to donate primarily to liberal organizations, reported giving CMD $160,000 in 2011, but that money did not appear on CMD's tax return. When asked why CMD heavily criticizes conservative organizations for not revealing their donors while refusing to name all of CMD's funders, CMD's president Lisa Graves said, “The question of conservative funders versus liberal funders, I think, is a matter of false equivalency. Quite frankly a number of these (corporate donors) like Koch Industries … they’re advancing not just an ideological agenda but an agenda that helps advance the bottom line of their corporate interests. That’s quite a distinct difference from some of the funders in the progressive universe." 
In June 2014,
reported that the Center for Media and Democracy was a recipient of funding through the Politico Democracy Alliance, a network of progressive donors. 
Awards [ ]
CMD and progressive magazine
shared a September 2011 The Nation Sidney Award, an award given by The Sidney Hillman Foundation in recognition of "socially-conscious journalism", for "ALEC Exposed."
In 2012, CMD received an
Izzy Award, given by the Roy H. Park School of Communications of Ithaca College for special achievement in independent media, and a Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award, given by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, for the "ALEC Exposed" project.  
References [ ]
"Arn Pearson". Center for Media and Democracy . Retrieved . 10 May 2018
"IRS Form 990 2014" (PDF). GuideStar. Internal Revenue Service . Retrieved . June 14, 2016
^ a b c
"Exposing ALEC: The Center for Media and Democracy goes after the right-wing powerhouse". Isthmus. May 10, 2012 . Retrieved . June 26, 2012
^ a b
Matthew DeFour - Wisconsin State Journal. "Leah Vukmir agrees to turn over ALEC documents to settle open records lawsuit". madison.com.
^ a b
Lee Enterprises. "Ameren fends off activist shareholder proposals". stltoday.com.
^ a b c d
"Progress Iowa calls on state lawmakers to cut ties with conservative group ALEC". The Des Moines Register.
^ a b
http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/walker-backtracks-from-striking-truth-from-uw-system-charter/article_4c82a628-50b3-5df2-aa49-6e230cd1822a.html La Crosse Tribune
Mayer, Jane (November 14, 2013). "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?". The New Yorker . Retrieved . November 20, 2013
"Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected". The Atlantic. April 14, 2012 . Retrieved . June 26, 2012
"TV Stations' 'Fake News' Scrutinized". CBS News. Associated Press. August 16, 2006 . Retrieved . August 17, 2006
Roland, Neil (May 25, 2006). "U.S. FCC Probes Local TV Stations Airing Ads as News (Update3)". Bloomberg News . Retrieved . February 25, 2015
Shields, Todd (August 21, 2006). "Fake out: FCC warns stations about airing video news releases". Mediaweek.
Farsetta, Diane; Price, Daniel (April 6, 2006). "Fake TV news: Widespread and undisclosed" (PDF). Center for Media and Democracy . Retrieved . October 22, 2015
Conniff, Ruth (November 2014). "Pulling Together, Saying Goodbye". . The Progressive 78 (11). p. 5.
Craver, Jack (December 7, 2013). "Progressive watchdog group gets two big anonymous donations". Capital Times . Retrieved . March 24, 2015
Ivry, Sara (April 16, 2007). "Now on YouTube: The Latest News From Al Jazeera, in English". New York Times . Retrieved . February 25, 2015 ..the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog organization...
Warner, Melanie (June 12, 2005). "Striking Back At the Food Police". New York Times . Retrieved . February 25, 2015 A watchdog group...
"Corrections". New York Times. June 19, 2005. the headquarters...of the Center for Media and Democracy...is Madison WI
O'Harrow, Robert (May 31, 2008). "McCain Campaign Calls; a Nonprofit Steps In". The Washington Post . Retrieved . July 17, 2010
"Liberal organization links Wisconsin bills to Koch-funded group". Milwaukee Journal. July 13, 2011 . Retrieved . June 26, 2012
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Richards, Tori (January 2, 2014). "Shadowy funders build liberal war chest to unseat governor". Watchdog.org . Retrieved . March 23, 2014
^ a b c d
"About Us". Center for Media and Democracy . Retrieved . February 25, 2015
"Center for Media and Democracy About". Center for Media and Democracy . Retrieved . February 25, 2015
"ALEC Exposed". alecexposed.org.
Graves, Lisa (July 12, 2011). "ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection". The Nation . Retrieved . October 23, 2015
Moyers, Bill (September 28, 2012). "United States of ALEC". Moyers & Company. Public Affairs Television . Retrieved . February 25, 2015
"The United States of ALEC: Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws". Democracy Now!. September 27, 2012 . Retrieved . February 25, 2015
"SourceWatch:Purpose". CMD . Retrieved . February 4, 2018
^ a b
"Editorial Policy," SourceWatch, last updated July 31, 2014, accessed February 4, 2018.
^ For further information about ing and security policies, see also:
"SourceWatch: How to fix or report an error", SourceWatch: "Errors and Complaints", and "Security", both accessed February 4, 2018.
Donnelly, Katie (November 3, 2009). "10 Projects that Help Citizens Become Government Watchdogs". MediaShift . Retrieved . August 7, 2015
Miller, Ellen. "Two Great Sites That Go Well Together". Sunlight Foundation . Retrieved . July 2, 2014
"Left, Obama Escalate War on Banks Into Dangerous Territory". Fox News. December 11, 2011 . Retrieved . July 25, 2012
Richards, Tori (December 4, 2013). "Liberal 'media' group gets $520G dark money donation for war on right". Fox News . Retrieved . December 6, 2013
Kittle, M.D. "Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior". WisconsinWatchdog.org . Retrieved . January 9, 2018
Vogel, Kenneth (June 23, 2014). "Inside the vast liberal conspiracy". Politico . Retrieved . June 24, 2014
"Spring 2014 Democracy Alliance Investment Recommendations". Democracy Alliance . Retrieved . June 24, 2014
Sedlis, Julie (July 25, 2012). "The Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation Win September Sidney for "ALEC:Exposed," A Look Into the Secretive Collaboration Between Corporations and Politicians on State Legislation". The Sidney Hillman Foundation. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014 . Retrieved . October 25, 2014
"2012 Izzy Awards". WSKG. April 10, 2015. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015 . Retrieved . February 24, 2015
Michael, Catherine (March 27, 2012). "Izzy Award winners: Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Center for Media and Democracy". ALA Connect. American Library Association . Retrieved . February 24, 2015
Esch, Madeleine (Spring 2012). "Center for Media and Democracy Selected for 2012 PF&R Award" (PDF). Cultural and Critical Studies. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 15, 2013 . Retrieved . February 24, 2015
External links [ ]