Other Group

PRWatch

Website:

www.prwatch.org/

Parent Organization:

Center for Media and Democracy

PR Watch is a left-leaning website that is operated by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). The site offers left-leaning commentary and heavy criticism of right-leaning and Republican-affiliated organizations and politicians. [1]

PR Watch is the sister website of SourceWatch, a wiki-style platform that CMD uses to attack right-leaning individuals and organizations. The site heavily promotes work of other CMD projects, including ALECExposed, KochExposed, and CoalWatch. [2]

Background

PR Watch began as a news-style publication upon the founding of the Center for Media and Democracy. CMD was founded by left-leaning activists John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, who established CMD as a nonprofit to publish several left-leaning books. [3]

The PR Watch website publishes a variety of left-leaning content that heaps criticism on right-leaning and business-aligned groups. It is closely linked to SourceWatch, the Wiki-style platform also operated by CMD that publishes content characterized by a left-leaning double standard. The site focuses on perceived misdeeds of conservative-leaning organizations while ignoring similar tactics used by liberal organizations. [4]

PR Watch is rated as having a left bias by Media Bias Fact Check, for using “loaded language”[5] that is moderately to strongly biased towards left-leaning perspectives and for publishing content that always favors left-progressive policies and causes. [6]

Content

One of the frequent targets of PR Watch’s criticism is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-leaning membership association for state lawmakers. PR Watch published the website ALECExposed, and offers content on its website accusing the organization of being a right-wing lobbying front,[7] while praising the activities of the State Innovation Exchange,[8] which is widely acknowledged as the liberal counterpart to ALEC. [9]

Another target of PR Watch’s criticism is Koch Industries and the political and nonprofit funding activities of its CEO, businessman Charles Koch. The website frequently publishes environmentalist content critical of Koch Industries’ oil- and gas-related business operations and frequently criticizes advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity, which is partially funded by Charles Koch. [10]

Other organizations frequently targeted by PR Watch include the State Policy Network, Outsourcing America, and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). [11]

PR Watch’s content also frequently attacks so-called “dark money” funding of right-leaning causes and organizations. In reality, the website’s parent company has received substantial funding from anonymous interests. [12]

People

Writers for PR Watch include Arn Pearson, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, as well as former CMD executive director Lisa Graves, who is the board president at CMD. [13]

Other writers for the website include David Armiak, the research director at CMD, as well as Don Wiener and Alex Kotch, both writers for CMD. [14]

All five listed writers for PR Watch are also the sole writers for other CMD-sponsored websites, including the various projects under the Exposed by CMD website. [15]

References

  1. “Center for Media & Democracy.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/12-center-for-media-democracy/ ^
  2. “Home.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021.  https://www.prwatch.org/ ^
  3. “Center for Media & Democracy.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/12-center-for-media-democracy/ ^
  4. Saltsman, Michael. “Progressive watchdog follows a double standard.” The Hill. December 18, 2013. Accessed May 21, 2021. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/193393-progressive-watchdog-follows-a-double-standard ^
  5. “Center for Media and Democracy.” Media Bias Fact Check. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/center-for-media-and-democracy/ ^
  6. “Center for Media and Democracy.” Media Bias Fact Check. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/center-for-media-and-democracy/ ^
  7. “ALEC.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.prwatch.org/search/node/alec ^
  8. “ALEC Sharpens Attack on Environmental Safeguards.” PR Watch. December 29, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/12/12697/alec-sharpens-attack-environmental-safeguards ^
  9. Vogel, Kenneth. “Democrats create an ALEC-killer.” Politico. November 9, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/democrats-create-an-alec-killer-112733 ^
  10. “Koch.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021.  https://www.prwatch.org/search/node/koch ^
  11. “Home.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021.  https://www.prwatch.org/ ^
  12. Richards, Tori. “Liberal ‘media’ group gets $520k dark money donation for war on right.” Watchdog.org. December 4, 2013. Accessed May 21, 2021.. https://www.watchdog.org/issues/labor/liberal-media-group-gets-k-dark-money-donation-for-war/article_28f6b663-068e-5a46-bc2e-8aa096e56e2a.html ^
  13. “Writers.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.prwatch.org/content/writers ^
  14. “Writers.” PR Watch. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.prwatch.org/content/writers ^
  15. “Our Team.” Exposed by CMD.” Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.exposedbycmd.org/our-team/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Lisa Graves
    Senior Research Fellow, Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)
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