Albany County

Sinclair mandate an affront to democracy

Emily Stewart, Delmar


I’m writing to express how disturbed I am that WRGB joined nearly 200 Sinclair-owned stations in reading a must-run promotion attacking “biased and fake news” on other networks. Sinclair has used required programming to push conservative-leaning stances into its local broadcasts. The must-runs look like they are part of the news.

Free speech is protected in the Constitution of our country for a reason. Starting on the campaign trail, President Trump has attacked the free-and-independent press, one of the key pillars of democracy that is required for a free society. This mandatory promotion mirrors propaganda efforts used by authoritarian regimes to control the media in their countries.

This is of extreme concern, especially in light of the proposed Sinclair acquisition of Tribune Media Co. Sinclair is already the largest owner of local television stations in the country. The nearly $4 billion deal will increase its reach into 72 percent of American homes. Local news outpaces national news outlets, both in overall viewership and trust. (Pew Research Center reports that 85 percent of Americans trust local news outlets.)

WRGB should have joined WMSN/FOX47 in Madison, Wis., in refusing to air the promotion.

Kentucky congressional candidate Amy McGrath stated she will pull her campaign ads from local Sinclair-owned networks. Others need to join her.

Emily Stewart


The writer is a member of Bethlehem Morning Voice Huddle.

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Leave a Reply