The Center for Media and Democracy, founded in 1993 by American author John Stauber, is a non-profit 501(c)(3), public interest organization created to engage citizens in debates about government and corporate “spin.” [1] The CMD strives to engage the public in citizen journalism through news reporting web sites, such as sourcewatch.org. According to its PRWatch.org web site, the CMD serves citizens, journalists and policymakers in four main ways: [1]
· “Countering propaganda by investigating and reporting on behind-the-scenes public relations campaigns by corporations, industries, governments and other powerful institutions.”
· “Informing and assisting grassroots citizen activism that promotes public health, economic justice, ecological sustainability and human rights.”
· “Promoting media literacy to help the public recognize the forces shaping the information they receive about issues that affect their lives.”
· “Sponsoring "open content" media that enable citizens from all walks of life to "be the media" and to participate in creating media content.”
The CMD operates from a Board of Directors: Deborah Bey, Ellen Braune, Joseph Mendelson, David Merritt, Jan Miyasaki, John Stauber, Inger Stole, and executive director Lisa Graves (in a non-voting capacity).

Projects the CMD sponsers:

· SourceWatch: a web-based encyclopedia of people, groups and issues who influence the public agenda and policy. [2] The site uses “wikis” to allow easy collaboration with professional and volunteer writers and editors.
· PR Watch: an effort to expose the PR industry’s manipulation of public information; also investigates propagandists efforts to persuade opinions regarding public policy
· Spin of the Day: a web-based source of daily news of public relations and media spin
· Public education campaigns: an collaborative effort with the National Press Club and other partners to bring awareness to the public, such as the 2007 “Defend The Press” campaign.
Stauber said in the December 2008 Annual Report, “no other public interest organization so doggedly and effectively investigates the ways in which powerful interests use hidden propaganda to manage and manipulate news, information, opinion, politics, and public policies.”[3]

However, according to ActivistsCash.com, a site created by the Center for Consumer Freedom, the CMD is only disguised as an independent organization but it is really a two-person partnership. This CCF site, a tracker of non-profits and anti-consumer activists, says Stauber and CMD partner Sheldon Rampton are “self-anointed progressive watchdogs” who are paranoid that anything released from a corporate office is propaganda.[[#_ftn4|[4]]] ActivistCash calls the Stauber and Rampton hypocritical, men who are against manipulation for special interests, yet have dipped “into the deep pockets of multi-million-dollar foundations with special interest agendas of their own.”[4]

The following are the non-profit foundations that support the CMD. Foundations in Bold are currently funding the CMD efforts.

· American Legacy Foundation
· Bauman Family Foundation
· Careth Foundation
· Carolyn Foundation
· Changing Horizons Charitable Trust
· Courtney's Foundation
· CS Fund
· Deer Creek Foundation
· Educational Foundation of America
· Ettinger Foundation
· Foundation for Deep Ecology
· Foundation for Political Management
· Funding Exchange
· Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund
· Grodzins Fund
· HKH Foundation
· Litowitz Foundation
· Marisla Foundation
· Mostyn Foundation
· Park Foundation
· Proteus Fund
· V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation
· Rockefeller Associates
· Rockefeller Family Foundation
· Rockwood Fund
· Stern Family Fund
· Schumann Center for Media and Democracy
· Sunlight Foundation
· Threshold Foundation
· Tides Foundation
· Town Creek Foundation
· Turner Foundation
· Wallace Global Fund
· Winslow Foundation

External Links:
PR Watch

SourceWatch

ActivistCash

[1] http://www.prwatch.org/cmd/index.html
[2] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch
[3] http://prwatch.org/pdfs/CMD_Annual_Report_2007-2008.pdf
[4] http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm?oid=12