Center for Media and Democracy
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a non-profit investigative reporting group. The CMD gives analysis and opinion on policies such as the economy, environment and national security. They promote citizen journalism and aim to expose corporate spin and government propaganda.


It was founded in 1993 by environmentalist writer and political activist John Stauber
John Stauber
John Stauber is an American writer and political activist who has co-authored five books about propaganda by governments, private interests and the PR industry...

, but has been run by Lisa Graves since the 2009 retirement of Stauber. Graves is the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice and Chief Counsel for Nominations for the chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

On July 13, 2011, the CMD leaked 800 documents on the expose of the American Legislative Exchange Council
American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a politically conservative 501 non-profit Policy Organization, consisting of both state legislators and members of the private sector. ALEC's mission statement describes the organization's purpose as the advancement of free-market principles, limited...

 (ALEC). ALEC is a policy organization that supports the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty. The expose found ALEC had drafted model legislation that made polluting easier, voting harder, and lower wages.

The CMD collaborated with the website who analyzed the leaked documents to help make these discoveries. editor Katrina vanden Heuvel said on the findings, "ALEC Exposed—a joint project by The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy—offers a never-before-seen look at the origins of the rightwing legislative assault on labor, education, healthcare and voting rights in states across the country. It is an important reminder to refocus on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy in the states."


CMD publishes PR Watch
PR Watch
PR Watch is a web site, and until 2008 a quarterly newsletter, whose stated mission is to expose deceptive and misleading public relations campaigns. It particularly covers US environmental issues, but also covers topics ranging from labor rights to world affairs...

, SourceWatch
SourceWatch is an internet wiki site that is a collaborative project of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy...

, and The SourceWatch
SourceWatch is an internet wiki site that is a collaborative project of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy...

 website, is a Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

, which CMD describes as "a collaborative project to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

s, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion
Public opinion
Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views....

 and public policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 on behalf of corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s, government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s and advocacy group
Advocacy group
Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems...


Political affiliations

CMD states it is a "national, independent, non-partisan public interest newsgroup".


The CMD states that it doesn't accept corporate, labor union or government grants, and only accepts donations from individuals and philanthropic foundations. It also maintains a lists of financial supporters on its website.


In September 2011, the CMD won the Sidney Award for their ALEC Exposed piece. "A Look Into the Secretive Collaboration Between Corporations and Politicians on State Legislation".
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