Receive email alerts Organisation April 6, 2018 US – Sinclair anti “fake news” campaign threatens channels’ editorial independence WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists United StatesAmericas Media independence Freedom of expression RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is disturbed by the recent anti “fake news” campaign that Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest broadcast companies in the United States, has imposed on anchors of its local news affiliates. The campaign, which denounces “fake stories” in the national media, threatens the editorial independence and credibility of these local outlets. Screenshot: Deadspin News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on United States June 3, 2021 Find out more to go further June 7, 2021 Find out more United StatesAmericas Media independence Freedom of expression News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says April 28, 2021 Find out more In a video that went viral on March 31, dozens of news anchors from Sinclair-owned local TV stations recite an identical speech denouncing biases in national media. While the speech was aired during each local station’s news hours, it is actually a Sinclair-mandated script, one of a number of “must-run” segments that the broadcasting company has pushed on its local news affiliates in recent months. At one point, the script reads: “Some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’ … This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” “This latest move by Sinclair to push anti-media rhetoric out through its local affiliates during news broadcasts is a threat to the editorial independence of these channels and the journalists they employ. The campaign is even more concerning given the high level of trust Americans place in their local news outlets,” said Margaux Ewen, Director of RSF’s North America bureau. “This is a harrowing sign of just how far President Trump’s use of the term ‘fake news’ is spreading to de-legitimize critical reporting in the United States.” While representatives from Sinclair have reiterated their company’s “commitment to reporting facts” as the intent of this campaign, criticism has come from members of Congress, reporters, and current and former company employees. Aaron Weiss, a former news director at a company-owned television station, told CNN: “The problem with what Sinclair does is, they co-opt the credibility that local anchors have built up in their communities over years and decades, and use that credibility to promote a political agenda.” A 2017 Morning Consult/Politico poll found that more registered voters trust their local news outlets to report the truth than national news. Sinclair owns the largest number of local television stations in the United States, and the company is currently involved in a proposed $3.9 billion deal to buy out Tribune Media. The purchase would provide the company with an additional 42 television stations, leaving Sinclair with more than 200 news television stations nationwide. In response to the campaign, some of the company’s employees have expressed their disapproval or even resigned from their positions, and at least one affiliate channel has refused to air the segment. However, current and former employees have shared with the press evidence demonstrating a work environment that makes it difficult for staff to express concerns or even to leave the company, and Sinclair often imposes editorial influence on how its local affiliates present stories and graphics, including deleting comments from affiliates’ online content before web editors address it. Some employees for company-owned TV stations are also required by a “liquidated damages” clause to pay 40 percent of their annual compensation if they choose to leave their position before the end of term, and a noncompete clause bars them from signing contracts with competitors for six months after terminating their agreement, according to contracts reviewed by Bloomberg. Other employees have shared excerpts from employee handbooks that say the company “may monitor, intercept, and review, without further notice, every employee’s activities using Company’s electronic resources and communications systems.” And while legal experts say this is standard contract language, Sinclair employees told The Huffington Post the workplace culture has made them “particularly mindful” of these policies. The United States ranks 43rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year.
center column 1 â€˜En Plein Airâ€™ Raises $130,000 for Descanso Education Annual benefit gala pays tribute to art and the Gardens STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | 4:07 pm 9 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it More than 150 supporters of Descanso Gardens gathered Saturday night to raise $130,000 for the botanic gardenâ€™s education programs for Southern California schoolchildren and special-needs students.On a warm autumn evening at a harvest table that seemed to stretch forever beneath a canopy of oaks, guests gathered for â€œEn Plein Air,â€ this yearâ€™s edition of â€œOnly at Descanso.â€ The theme was inspired by the plein air school of landscape painting, and paid tribute to the hundreds of artists who have found inspiration in Descanso Gardens.â€œOnly at Descanso is a key part of the Descanso Gardens fund-raising model,â€ said Juliann Rooke, chief operating officer. â€œAlmost as important as fund-raising, this benefit is a â€˜friend-raiserâ€™ for the Gardens. Through our benefit we are able to meet new people who support the Descanso Gardens mission to educate and inspire through experiences in nature.â€The evening began on the Promenade, where guests gathered for cocktails and enjoyed jazz performed by Bossa Zuzu. Long-time Descanso benefactor Paul G. Haaga, Jr., of La CaÃ±ada Flintridge, presided over the paddle auction for the second year.Guests took a short stroll to the Oak Forest, where they gathered at a length of end-to-end tables that stretched down the pathway. The tables were covered with homespun tablecloths and guests sat at rustic chairs. The canopy of oak boughs was illuminated by strings of cafÃ© lights that spanned the space. The harvest theme continued with vivid flower arrangements of orange roses and dahlias, autumn leaves, fresh herbs, sea holly, and lilies. The arrangements were donated by trustee Hank Maarse, president of Jacob Maarse Florists in Pasadena. Music curated by Matthew Rubino set the mood for dinner.The dinner, prepared by Patina Catering, kept the harvest vibe going beginning with a spritely raw Tuscan kale salad. The entrees included grilled hanger steak with golden potato tart and herb pasta cannelloni with field greens and ricotta filling.Dessert â€“ a selection of fine cheese and chocolates — was served in the Rose Pavilion, where the Gerry Rothschild Band performed a spirited mix of classic tunes for dancing. Guests gathered at small tables for cordials. And the cushy seating of the cigar lounge drew guests who enjoyed a smoke and glass of port.The evening was generously underwritten by Paul G. Haaga, Jr., and his wife, Descanso trustee Heather Sturt Haaga, Sid and Betsey Tyler of Pasadena, Rick Neumann of Pasadena, Karl Swaidan and the Dorothy L. Johnston Foundation, Hank and Ana Maarse of Jacob Maarse Florists, and Patina Restaurant Group.The funds raised at â€œOnly at Descansoâ€ will support programs for school children, for young people with special needs, and for the visiting community at large. â€œEducation is an integral part of our mission,â€ Rooke said. â€œWe seek to educate in a number of ways, from the structured curriculum we have created for school children and special-needs students, to less formal experiences. Just taking a walk through the Gardens can be a lesson in the natural world.â€About Descanso GardensEstablished as a public garden in 1953, Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La CaÃ±ada Flintridge, near the interchange of the 2 and 210 freeways. The Gardens are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas Day. Parking is free. Admission fees are $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for members and children 4 and younger. For information, call (818) 949-4200 or visit www.descansogardens.org. Descanso Gardens is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Community News Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Your email address will not be published. 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