Physical Address: 201 Barrow Street #9, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2429
Mailing Address: 201 Barrow Street #9, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2429
Proposed Educational Product Prototype: http://bernieday.com/mediabiasprimer.exe
Submission Date of Request: August, 2002 Date donation is needed: As available or 30-90
The Media Research Center of Alaska is committed to identifying, reviewing, and reporting on news media that violates the media industry’s code of ethics, as it pertains to media in Alaska. MRCA also educates its contributors and Alaska citizens in media ethics so that each person can become a critical thinker/evaluator when absorbing media coverage
rather than swallowing what is written, hook, line, and sinker. This 501 (c) 3 organization was formed in 1999, and offers a forum for mediating between the various sides of an issue, asking critical questions, with truth in reporting being the goal. The Organization’s online presence at: (http://mediaresearchak.org)
offers everything from an online forum to discuss the media to an electronic newsletter and an Action Guide to help citizens voice their opinions to the press when media bias is present. It is not the MRCA’s intent to position itself as a conservative organization that is out to write scathing attacks on “liberal,” media. The
MRCA is also not a political organization and does not either support or oppose any political candidate or legislative matter. The Organization’s goal is to approach media content from a scholarly perspective, measuring it against ethical standards that journalists profess to abide by. The Media Research Center of Alaska,
through its educational products, intends to improve the quality of reporting and the quantity of consumer commitment. We are embraced by media publishers, reporters and news consumers for the work that we do.
The Media Research Center of Alaska is led by Bernie Day, Executive Director and Ombudsman, under the direction of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Day brings to the organization a long history of developing practical tactics for implementing a vision, well-developed writing skills, and a passion for ethics in all of
her dealings. Ms. Day, having held executive positions at Empathology, Inc., Seminar Master, Inc. and a Founding member of The Learning Foundation, provides leadership through inspiration. Her past professional experience includes financial expertise, as a commodity broker for Shearson American Express and Merrill Lynch, healthcare experience as a registered counselor, public speaking as a seminar leader,
and writing experience as a published author of a number of titles, including "Unconscious Agendas," published by Kendall Hunt.
Board of Trustees:
Mr. Mark Chryson
- is the Chairman of the largest (statistically) 3rd Political Party in the nation - the Alaskan Independence Party. He has been serving Alaskans in this capacity since 1997, having been active in politics since the late 70's with citizen's initiatives. He is the owner of a computer
consulting company based in Wasilla.
Mr. Peter Gruenstien
- Attorney, ran as a Democrat for US Congress.
Ms. Darlene Holt
- retired – former educator. She is the former president of the Women’s Club.
Mr. Dave Houston
Mr. Elgin Jones
- Director of Bean’s Café project, “Kid’s Kitchen,” that feeds poor children. Journalism background.
Mr. Race Jones
Mr. Ray Kreig
- Civil Engineer
and Chairman of a ratepayer group, Chugach Consumers.
Mr. Don Mormile
Physical therapist – self-employed.
Mr. Bruce Scott
- Is the Director of IT at Matanuska
Electric Association, and offers MRCA analysis skills, writing, editing, speaking. Background includes Managing Editor/Editor/Reporter at various publications including “The
Frontiersman,” “Alaska Business & Industry Magazine,” and “The Record-Searchlight,” Redding CA.
Ms. Mae Tischer
- A former State Legislator, retired and living in the bush.
Specific amount requested: $1,000.00
The MRCA is currently seeking funds to develop a series of eBooks (electronic books) to deliver education about media bias for FREE from the MRCA’s Website through direct download. The marketing of these eBooks will be conducted through public service announcements,
registration at sites across the Web, various other ads and when speaking at engagements, on radio and television. Additionally, the Organization will encourage academic use of its eBooks, such as government class educators in Alaska High Schools, classroom education in debate, philosophy,
media, journalism, English and publications classes. Also, drama, debate and forensics (DDF) clubs could use this material for research and reference. Additionally, public libraries are now offering eBook formats so this is another avenue in which the MRCA will channel distribution, again, for FREE. As a result, a large portion of the Alaskan population will have access to the eBooks that are created.
The MRCA anticipates reaching a large percentage of Alaskan residents that have Internet access. Other means beyond these eBooks are also on the table to reach the rest of the population through PBS but are not included in this grant request.
Additionally, our eBooks will become public domain that others can pick up and use on a national basis (with credits to MRCA), demonstrating the inroads that the MRCA has made in Alaska, approaching news media from a positive perspective rather than from an “attack” mode as seen by many media bias “watchdog” groups. In fact, only the
MRCA offers a Webpage (http://mediaresearchak.org/kudos.htm) for “Kudos” where balanced reporting is acknowledged and embraced.
Message: That media bias is often thought of as intentional. However, the MRCA intends to demonstrate that most of it is the result of “structural problems” that underlie the news that is often out of reach to change by
journalists/reporters. Even though media bias often hurts the majority and supports the minority (yet powerful) status quo, special interests, and political agendas it is because of HOW the news is produced from the TOP down. These underlying structural problems will be discussed, among other elements, such as:
1. Explain the purpose of the news in a democratic society
2. Describe what news is
3. Show graphs and charts demonstrating statistics demonstrating the changing face of
4. Discuss the rise of media “stars”
5. Discuss specific media bias instances
a. The selection of words
b. Drama to create emotions rather than sticking to facts – what the consumer has
c. The selection and use by journalists of “sources” for information - accessibility
d. Newsroom control and how it selects its stories or avoids them – due to what sells
e. Time pressure to produce stories
f. Discuss how news has become infotainment and why
6. Discuss the effects of media bias on the general public
c. discouragement and fear
7. Discuss why it is important for all Alaskans to become activists for fair and balanced
View a prototype of the eBook by downloading it at: http://bernieday.com/mediabiasprimer.exe. A hard copy of the proposed Table of Contents as well as the Forward are included
with this grant request.
Additional eBooks that will be created beyond this initial eBook include, “The News Media and Political Campaigns,” as well as “The News Media and Critical Issues Facing Alaska.” For each $1,000 granted, your organization can have its website link/logo included in
each page of an additional eBook, so YOU may elect to contribute a total of $3,000. The current list of underwriters in the prototype are used as examples only.
Content Development Expert
Product development will be performed by Andrew Cline, Ph.D. Dr. Cline has an extensive background in Political Science and Journalism, having served as a Journalist. He is currently an adjunct professor of
English at Park University near Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Cline also has experience with the Internet and delivery of content through this medium – view his website at: http://rhetorica.net.
Cost of Production per eBook (3 eBooks planned)
Purchase eBook software that is PC and MAC compatible $ 500.00
Content Development by Dr. Andrew Cline (per book)
Graphic design and layout 3,000.00 Server/Hosting 1 year 500.00
TOTAL $ 8,000.00
After this initial cost, the book can be downloaded by consumers for FREE an unlimited amount of times. Each eBook will accept ONLY eight (8) underwriters (grant makers). Each eBook will be perpetual and no new underwriters will be accepted even as the eBooks are updated over time.
Why is fair and balanced reporting by news reporters/journalists so important? Because without fair and balanced reporting, news consumers fail to understand the issues that they face in their lives. A growing apathy in civic duties has occurred over the last
decade with young people participating even less than their parents. When reviewing the Gallup Poll of July, 2002, one can see the dismal figures in regard to the trust level of journalists. It ranks below Catholic Priests and Accountants, at 38% of the people polled saying a journalist could generally be trusted and 58% saying
that one can’t be too careful of them. This is a sad state of affairs. The Media Research Center of Alaska intends to help change this in the state of Alaska by providing the means for news reporting change through activism, and positive reinforcement whenever news reporting improves. Additionally,
the MRCA will inspire citizens to reach out for more of the facts they need to make informed decisions and thus create civic action.
The Media Research Center of Alaska was founded in 1999. Contributions from individuals occurred at its inception. The MRCA was basically inactive until May 2002, when an Executive Director was retained. A new business plan was written and this grant request represents the MRCA’s mission to create educational products utilizing the Internet as the medium of delivery. Please visit the Organization’s new website at: http://mediaresearchak.org. The Internet was selected due to its low cost of operation and high speed of information delivery.
At this point in time, the MRCA has sufficient funds on hand to cover general operating expenses through the end of the year with further projected contributions funding the future of the organization. While we seek more general operating funds from individuals, we require
grant-makers to fund the actual development of our educational products. The Media Research Center of Alaska does not have any audited financial statements. However, included with this proposal are financial projections for the creation of all three (3) eBooks and a video documentary series (the latter not included in this grant
This is the Media Research Center of Alaska’s first grant request from your organization. Thank you for your consideration.