AIM Takes Aim at COVID-Related Media Aid

Add conservative watchdog Accuracy in Media to those pushing back on media companies' push to get COVID-19 related money from Congress and the Administration during a time when advertising revenues have plummeted but the need for potentially life-saving local news and information is arguably greater than ever.

AIM argues that the media can't cover the government objectively if they are taking "handouts" and has launched a petition to "oppose any media bailout."

That is a reference to a request from broadcast and newspaper outlets last week that the government spend billions in advertising dollars on local media and allow individual stations or newspapers that are part of larger groups to qualify individually for small business loans/grants.

That request has drawn bipartisan support in Congress.

Related: Reps. Seek Trump Help on Ad Aid for Local Media

But AIM aims to submarine that effort, slamming the media outlets and saying better that they fail than get aid.

“Journalism is essential in a free society, but many of today’s journalists do a poor job of educating the public. They focus on lies and smears rather than facts and details," the petition said. “Unpopular news outlets should be allowed to fail so that they might be replaced by better news outlets. There’s no reason to prop up media companies that Americans do not support.”

Actually, the local TV stations seeking help are consistently rated as the go-to news sources for those Americans. The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which joined the call for funds, points out that its target audience of African Americans is one being hardest hit by the virus and arguably most in need of potentially lifesaving news and information about it.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.