Monday, February 07, 2011

More Fraser Institute

Following on my previous post, it also bugs me that the Fraser Institute gets cited by the media as if they were some sort of neutral agent rather than an ideological think-tank with a particular perspective. They are often quoted in reputable newspapers with no mention of the nature of their advocacy. That's not the fault of the Fraser Institute. The whole point of a political think-tank is to promote a world-view and make an impact in the media (even if the FI misleads). It's the fault of credulous journalists who believe that the Fraser Institute researchers are just policy wonks existing in some sort of political vacuum. They're not, and they don't try to hide it, so there's no reason to treat them as such. I understand the reason behind it: journalists need quotes and stories and think-tanks churn them out on a daily basis, but that's still not a good excuse.

1 comment:

Sixth Estate said...

Unfortunately this is not limited to the Fraser Institute. At my blog a good third of my posts come from pointing out that people contributing op-ed pieces to major papers (eg National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, Globe and Mail) are not the neutral academic observers that their two-line bio at the end of the column implies they are.

In my opinion any advocacy group should, as a condition of its tax-exempt status, identify its major funding sources. And newspapers should voluntarily identify that, too.