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This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SourceWatch's logo features a magnifying glass through which its name can be seen.
SourceWatch's logo features a magnifying glass through which its name can be seen.

SourceWatch (formerly Disinfopedia) describes itself as "a collaborative project that aims to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests."


The stated SourceWatch policy for WikiWiki editors is "fairness and accuracy" rather than a neutral point of view policy. The project's sponsor is the research group Center for Media and Democracy; Bob Burton is SourceWatch editor[1] and the main contact for the project and provides a degree of oversight as an analyst on public relations.

The directory is available on the web as a Wiki, maintained by a community of interested users worldwide. When SourceWatch began, any visitor to the site could edit existing articles and create new ones. In April, 2006, however, SourceWatch changed its policy to require that users register and log in before editing. (Unregistered visitors can still read all the material.) SourceWatch was started on January 15, 2003 and publicly launched with 200 articles on March 10, 2003. Conservative estimates put the number of articles in SourceWatch at over 5000 as of July 2004,[1] and according to the site's own statistics, it had over 15,000 articles as of March 2007[2]. Content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Since the SourceWatch style is to often extensively quote other news articles, the SourceWatch article will, in many cases, have extensive external links.

Criticism and Praise for SourceWatch

Alan Caruba, a corporate public relations campaigner and vocal global warming skeptic, writes "Source Watch is a project of the Center of Media & Democracy, a left-wing organization that devotes a lot of time to attacking the public relations profession in general and conservative writers in particular."[2]

The website, operated by industry lobby group the Center for Consumer Freedom, describes the Center for Media & Democracy, the organisation behind SourceWatch, as "a counterculture public relations effort disguised as an independent media organization... it is essentially a two-person operation" run by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.[3] ActivistCash adds "If someone in a shirt and tie dares make a profit (especially if food or chemicals are involved), Rampton and Stauber are bound to have a problem with it."[3]

Others, on the other hand, are happy for the resource, "As a journalist frequently on the receiving end of various PR campaigns, some of them based on disinformation, others front groups for undisclosed interests, [CMD's SourceWatch] is an invaluable resource." -- Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire (from the homepage of Sourcewatch [3]).


  1. ^ "Publishers of PR Watch", Center for Media and Democracy, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-24.
  2. ^ Caruba, Alan. "Smearing Conservative Writers", Broadcast Interview Source, January 29 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-24.
  3. ^ a b "Center for Media & Democracy", and Center for Consumer Freedom, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-24.

See also

  • Media transparency
  • Transparency (humanities)
  • Center for Media and Democracy
  • Discover the Networks

External links

  • - SourceWatch is a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy
  • PRWatch - 'Center for Media and Democracy, Publishers of PRWatch'.
  • SourceWatch Profile from
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