After coming under fire over its promos about “fake news,” the Sinclair Broadcast Group defended itself with a press release issued Monday under the headline “Sinclair Responds to Unfounded Media Criticism.”
As we reported Monday, the promos have apparently led to tensions between local stations and corporate management. Sinclair is said to be requiring its local TV anchors to deliver a so-called “journalistic responsibility message,” which some observers are calling pro-Trump propaganda.
Here’s Sinclair’s full statement:
“Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) (‘Sinclair’) today responded to a series of media reports attacking the Company’s recent promotional announcement for its local news. These announcements were responding to the public’s distrust in news generally, confirmed just today by this Monmouth University poll, and spoke to our commitment to avoid such inaccurate reporting. The promos served no political agenda, and represented nothing more than an effort to differentiate our award-winning news programming from other, less reliable sources of information.
“’We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,’ commented Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s Senior Vice President of News. ‘It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable. Our local stations keep our audiences’ trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary.’”