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PR Watch

PR Watch is a quarterly newsletter whose stated mission is to expose deceptive and misleading public relations campaigns. It frequently writes about anti-environmental PR campaigns but also covers issues ranging from labor rights[?] to world affairs. Its web site states, "Whether the issue is health, consumer safety, environmental preservation or democracy and world peace, citizens today find themselves confronted by a bewildering array of hired propagandists paid to convince the public that junk food is nutritious, pollution is harmless, and that what's good for big business and big government is good for the rest of us."[1] (http://www.prwatch.org/cmd/index)

Articles appearing in past issues have included:

  • "British-American Tobacco's Socially Responsible Smoke Screen," which discusses the tobacco company's effort to repackage itself as socially responsible[2] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2002Q4/bat)
  • "Ecos Corp's 'Win-Win' Spin for Corporate Environmentalism," which critiques a PR firm set up by former Greenpeace activists[3] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2002Q2/ecos)
  • "ConsumerFreedom.org: Tobacco Money Takes on Activist Cash," which details the hidden tobacco funding behind a front group that claims to represent consumer rights[4] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2002Q1/ddam)
  • "The Pentagon's Information Warrior: Rendon to the Rescue," which reviews the history of a PR firm charged with assisting the Bush administration's "war on terrorism"[5] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2001Q4/rendon)
  • "Spy TV: Just Who is the Digital TV Revolution Overthrowing?," which examines the impact that interactive TV will have on personal privacy [6] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2001Q2/spytv)
  • "China's Corporate Friends in High (and Low) Places," which exposes a nationwide lobbying effort by U.S. corporations to win most-favored trading status for China [7] (http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1997Q1/china)

In addition to archives of the newsletter, the PR Watch web site also offers daily reporting on public relations, propaganda and mass media spin in its Spin of the Day section. Its Impropaganda Review offers tips on "How to Research Front Groups" and a "Rogues Gallery of Industry Front Groups and Anti-Environmental Think Tanks." It has also started the Disinfopedia project, a specialized wiki encyclopedia about propaganda and public relations campaigns.

PR Watch is the creation of authors John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton via the The Center for Media & Democracy.

See also: junk science, global warming

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