In the wake of reports that Sinclair Media Group is “requiring its anchors to read promotional messages on air that many are calling ‘pro-Trump propaganda'” the Kent County Huddle once again protested outside local affiliate WJAR Channel 10, demanding that local news be locally controlled. Just under two dozen people met outside WJAR-10 offices and marched to Pontiac Avenue where they held signs for passing motorists to see.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is an American telecommunications company. The company is the largest television station operator in the United States by number of stations and total coverage. Since taking ownership of WJAR, Sinclair Media Group has mandated that WJAR include two minutes of right-wing or pro-Trump propaganda in local news broadcasts nine times a week.
This month a new mandate was announced according to internal Sinclair memos leaked to CNN. It is called an “anchor delivered journalistic responsibility message.” Local television journalists are now required to read pro-Trump messages on the air calling into question the integrity of major media outlets. This is intended to echo President Donald Trump’s claims that much of the major media news coverage is “fake news,” eroding the confidence of news consumers.
Curiously, the Sinclair memo also contained instructions for how journalists reading the news online should be dressed:
“Talent should dress in jewel tones — however they should not look political in their dress or attire. Avoid total red, blue and purples dresses and suits. Avoid totally red, blue and purple ties, the goal is to look apolitical, neutral, nonpartisan yet professional. Black or charcoal suits for men…females should wear yellow, gold, magenta, cyan, but avoid red, blue or purple.”
In response to a query, WJAR had no comment on the protest, but the news station did send a cameraman outside to speak to and take video of the protesters. The protest lasted about an hour.
You can see my coverage of the previous rally against right-wing Sinclair Media Group news coverage here: Protesters target WJAR/10 over mandated right-wing content from Sinclair
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