- Institutional Type:
- Civil Society / NGO
Common SMG activities include:
Present public forums on media issues.
- Conduct meetings with local TV stations to encourage more substantive, locally produced coverage of election issues.
- Organize letter and postcard campaigns to pressure
local TV news operations to improve the quality of their programming by
devoting increased time to coverage of substantive issues.
- Community education on media reform issues.
Oppose media concentration of ownership by fewer and fewer corporations.
- Encourage higher standards in locally produced news and public affairs programming.
- Preserve funding for community media, public education and government access to airwaves.
- Monitor corporate media and regulatory bodies to ensure broadcasters meet public interest obligations.
- Increase awareness of public rights-of-way to public airwaves and the world wide web.
- Advocate for re-establishment of a Fairness Doctrine to regulate balance in media coverage.
SMG has focused on encouraging local television stations to provide more local elections coverage of the actual issues voters face at the ballot box. SMG has worked hard to push local stations to focus programming on issue information and information about the different candidates' positions, especially before elections. In this effort we have met with television station managers in the Sacramento/Central Valley media market, the nation's 19th largest.
In 2004, SMG issued a report detailing how local stations made over $12 million from campaign advertising, but did not enhance our democracy by producing programming on local campaign issues. We are currently working on our report of the media coverage of the 2006 election and will soon release it. And we plan to monitor local television news, contrasting election coverage with campaign ads before the next election in February 2007.
To further educate our community, SMG has organized community forums, sponsored film showings on media reform, and made presentations to local groups. SMG members also testified at the FCC hearing in Oakland in 2006.