Months before voters go to the polls, powerful media outlets have shaped our opinions of the candidates – their haircuts and attire, their religious views and marital troubles. Are media now obstacles to serious discussion of the issues? Can Democrats get a fair shake at the hands of conservative media conglomerates? Are Republicans undermined by liberal reporters and public broadcasting? How is campaign coverage being changed by the Internet? By YouTube? By Comedy Central?
A veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff Kincaid runs the Center for Investigative Journalism at Accuracy in Media, the oldest media watchdog group in the U.S. He also serves as president of America’s Survival, Inc., a public policy group that has pioneered the use of the media streaming device called Roku and has an Internet-based television show that is now seen in more than 80 countries. He concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and won an award for editorial writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Cliff served on the staff of Human Events, Ronald Reagan’s favorite newspaper, and was an editorial writer and newsletter editor for former National Security Council staffer Oliver North at his Freedom Alliance educational foundation. Cliff’s 11 books include: Profiles of Deception, The News Manipulators, Why You Can’t Trust the News, Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire, and, Blood on His Hands: The True Story of Edward Snowden (2015).
Jeff Cohen, media critic and lecturer, is founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. He is the author of “Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media” – about his years as an on-air pundit at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and his stint as senior producer of MSNBC’s Phil Donahue primetime show (which was terminated for political reasons three weeks before the Iraq invasion). Cohen founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986, and cofounded the online activist group RootsAction.org in 2011. His hundreds of columns on media issues have been published online at such websites as Huffington Post, CommonDreams and AlterNet—and in dozens of dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, and Miami Herald.