Do Media Directorships Influence Content?

Unafraid to be controversial (as usual),  media watchdog <a href=”″>Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) examined the boards of directors of nine major media companies</a>–and found that some of those directors also sit on boards governing health insurance companies. Media properties with interlocking directors with the insurance industry included the Washington Post, Gannett (publishers of USA Today and other papers), NBC, and several others.

FAIR wonders if this conjunction might have something to do with the refusal to discuss single-payer/Medicare for all (the standard for health care in most of the developed world) in any meaningful way?

<blockquote>In the past six months, the Washington Post has published hundreds of articles on the subject of healthcare reform, fewer than 25 of which mention single-payer. Fewer than 30 percent of the sources who spoke about single-payer in these articles were advocates of the plan. In all, though healthcare reform has been mentioned thousands of times in the output of these media corporations’ major outlets, single-payer was mentioned in only 164 articles or news segments from January 1 through June 30, 2009; over 70 percent of these mentions did not include the voice of a single-payer advocate. Over 45 percent of the pieces that did include a single-payer advocate were episodes of the Ed Show, an MSNBC program whose host, Ed Shultz, frequently advocates for single-payer healthcare. Without the Ed Show, just 19 percent of articles or news segments that mentioned single-payer would have included an actual advocate of the plan. </blockquote>

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.SH