Posted by Sheryl Dickerhoof, APR
Friday, February 1, 2008
From our affiliate office in Madison, Wisconsin... it was announced today that two of the top public interest groups, Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), have together launched Full Frontal Scrutiny, a Web site created to expose the designs of nefarious hidden persuaders on the Web and in mainstream media. Located at frontgroups.org, the site's purpose is to shed light on "front groups," i.e. organizations that feign a particular agenda, while hiding or otherwise obscuring their identity, memberships, sponsorships and true agenda.
Full Frontal Scrutiny will publish selected content from WebWatch and from the CMD's SourceWatch site, as well as aggregate news about front groups from other reliable sources. The site debuts today with an investigation of front group activity in the popular online information resource Wikipedia.
The joint venture is an extension of the mission of both groups. WebWatch creates guidelines for Web site credibility. CMD's nationally renowned SourceWatch site has indexed and reported on hundreds of organizations whose offline or online presence fails the transparency test, by omission, obfuscation, or deception.
Sheldon Rampton, Research Director for CMD warned, "Fakers, phonies and front groups beware -- you will be exposed!"
Full Frontal Scrutiny will focus on front groups in the health, personal finance, electronics and Internet, automotive, home, environment, travel and other topic areas of particular interest.
- The Center for Media and Democracy is a non-profit, non-partisan, public interest organization that strengthens participatory democracy by investigating and exposing public relations spin and propaganda, and by promoting media literacy and citizen journalism. CMD serves journalists, researchers, policymakers and citizens at large by watchdogging the pollution of our information environment. CMD does not accept grants from corporations, governments, or labor unions. It relies on funding from individuals and private foundations. For more information contect: Sheldon Rampton at (608) 260-9713.
- Consumer Reports WebWatch is a division of Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine, and a variety of other publications advocating consumer rights in the marketplace. WebWatch evaluates the credibility of Web sites, investigates and researches Web sites on behalf of consumers, and advocate for consumer-focused Internet policy and governance. Consumer Reports WebWatch accepts no advertising or outside funding, other than from non-profit foundations. For more information, Beau Brendler at (914) 378-2600.