Join the Sinclair Strike on May 15, 2018 and fight the Sinclair Broadcasting Company’s ongoing efforts to become a back-door national television news network.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has deservedly drawn fire in recent months. For decades it has stealthily grown its reach and essentially tried to become a national television network quietly by buying up local television networks around the country.
As of summer 2017, Sinclair owned more TV stations than any other American broadcaster. It is in the process of trying to buy 42 more TV stations. If it succeeds, it will reach almost three out of four American homes.
That’s bad. Local ownership of TV stations is vital. It encourages stations to produce news programs that truly reflect a specific region’s own issues and concerns. It also frustrates media monopolies and encourages a broader range of voices and viewpoints to appear on the nation’s airwaves.
Sinclair has been catching heat in particular because it’s forcing its stations to broadcast pro-Trump editorials and distinctly right-wing stories, but the situation would be bad no matter what political stance it had. No broadcasting company should have as much power as Sinclair does. It sure as hell should not receive more power.
You can push back against Sinclair in several ways.
One is to contact your Senators and ask for public hearings on the proposed sale of 42 more TV stations to Sinclair. While news broke about the sale in August 2017, it has not gone through yet, and critics on the left and the right have spoken out against Sinclair’s purchase plans.
Sample script: Dear (Senator Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to hold hearings on Sinclair Broadcasting Company’s proposed $3.9 billion-dollar purchase of 42 television stations. Sinclair already owns 173 television stations. If the FCC allowed the deal, Sinclair would reach 72 percent of American households, becoming a back-door national news channel at the expense of local news channels.
This would be bad on so many levels. America needs local television stations that understand and care about the needs of their local populations. If Sinclair wants to be a national network, they should follow the rules to become one. They shouldn’t be allowed to undermine local television stations and the populations that they were designed to serve.
Sinclair Broadcasting Company has required its stations to broadcast right-wing editorials and stories en masse. That is definitely a problem, but it would be just as much of a problem if the stories were left-wing or spanned the political spectrum. It’s forcing all its stations to broadcast the same editorials and stories en masse that’s the problem, and represents an abuse of the formidable power that it holds. The fact that Sinclair is already behaving in this way, and forcing its on-air talent to comply, is a fact that shows exactly why the company should not be allowed to buy still more TV stations.
Please consider volunteering to lead Senate hearings on this matter or consider supporting Senate colleagues who offer to do so. Thanks.
Another way to push back against Sinclair is to join the Sinclair Strike on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
If you work at a Sinclair-owned television station, you are encouraged to stay away from work.
If Sinclair owns a television station in your area, you are encouraged to boycott the network by refusing to watch.
If you neither work for a Sinclair-owned TV station nor have one in your area, you can boost the #SinclairStrike hashtag, call your senators about holding hearings, and spread the word about the nefarious influence of the company and tell friends and family why it should not be allowed to buy more television stations.
See the Stop Sinclair website, which is a project of Allied Progress:
See its What’s At Stake page:
See its Do Your Part page:
Consult a map that shows you if there are Sinclair-owned television stations near you:
Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!
Watch a chilling video that proves that Sinclair-owned television stations are being forced to broadcast the same Op-Ed (opinion-editorial, as opposed to news) content:
Read an April 2018 story from The Daily Beast on how the left and the right are opposing the proposed Sinclair purchase:
This July 2017 Guardian story will get you to an episode of Last Week with John Oliver that sounds the alarm over Sinclair:
Read another Guardian piece from August 2017 that explores the dangers posed by Sinclair’s increasing reach:
And see an April 2018 Politico story on how Trump performed better in areas where the local news media had been gutted or otherwise devastated (not just television, but newspapers as well):
See a Brian Krassenstein tweet announcing the May 15 Sinclair Strike: