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Former Reporters Attempt Fox Shutdown

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Issue: 25 Section: International News Geography: USA Topics: media, corporate

February 3, 2005

Former Reporters Attempt Fox Shutdown

Accusing Fox News Corporation of "intentionally airing false and distorted news reports," former reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre have filed a challenge against the company's license to broadcast using publicly owned airwaves.

The reporters, who worked for Fox in 1996 and 1997, say the station ordered them to put a favourable slant on an investigative report about growth hormones that were manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and administered to dairy cattle to improve milk production. "The FCC has said that rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest," Wilson was quoted as saying. "If the FCC is concerned about obscenity, there is nothing more obscene than lying to the public."

A Fox official called the petition "an attempt to re-litigate something that has already been tried in court." Linger was referring to a drawn-out court battle that Akre and Wilson finally lost. After three judges found in favour of Akre and Wilson on six separate occasions, their rulings were overturned by an appeals court. The final judge's finding did not dispute evidence that Fox had "distorted" reporting but instead determined that distorted reporting was not illegal.

» Tampa Tribune: Ex-WTVT Reporters File Petition With FCC

» Wilson and Akre: FoxBGHSuit.com

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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