Alexa.com’s list of 33 of the top trafficked media watchdog sites has been circulating the Internet and all of us at iMediaEthics are delighted at being ranked number 16 right behind the important American Journalism Review (AJR.org) at number 15. It is notable the the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review place number 5 in visitor popularity.
Since our merge with media ethics blog CheckYourFacts.org in January 2008, we have continued to work our nonpartisan mission of improving the ethics of media coverage by critically evaluating reported facts in much the same way as scientists pursue knowledge via concrete, measurable and repeatable reality.
A partisan site topped the Alexa watchdog list. Media Matters for America was number 1. The site, which was launched in 2004 by describes itself as ” a progressive research and information center” (that’s code for liberal) that is “dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” Another popular media ethics site, Factcheck.org, placed third on the list. However, Factcheck.org, unlike Media Matters, is non-partisan policitical web site, a “nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”
While these sites offer good analysis , they are admittedly limited to either politics or in the case of Media Matters a one-sided agenda. On the other side of the spectrum, Mediaresearch.org, which placed fourth, seeks to set the record straight on behalf of polarized conservatives. While these left and right wing web sites should be applauded for bringing sloppy reporting to light, being a one-sided often fosters unruly and even abusive discourse that rules so much Internet discussion (but, wink-wink, is a great instigator of web traffic as everyone knows).
The only dud on the Alexa list of watchdog is likely an indexing mistake. A site called Adbusters Magazine was an unlikely pick for number 2 on the list. Adbusters is not a media watchdog but an ecological magazine catering primarily to activist commentary over a gamut of issues.