Resolution Regarding Party Involvement with Sinclair Broadcast Group
WHEREAS, the Sinclair Broadcast Group owns over 190 television stations across the United States, operating across all national networks; and
WHEREAS, Sinclair requires its stations to present so-called “must carry” national segments and read prepared scripts locally; and
WHEREAS, research has indicated that Sinclair-owned stations cover more national and less local politics, and provide more conservative-leaning coverage; and
WHEREAS, viewership falls after this coverage is implemented, indicating that Sinclair’s strategy is a persuasion effort and not one designed for ratings; and
WHEREAS, Sinclair owns ten television stations that reach voters in the state of Washington; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Democrats call for all public broadcast channels to be “managed to serve the public interest,” reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, the reduction of concentration of media ownership, and the restoration of local programming;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the 21st Legislative District Democrats urge the Washington State Democratic Party, all local Democratic Party organizations in Washington, and all candidates in Washington who identify as Democrats to reduce their monetary support of Sinclair-owned television stations to the greatest extent possible; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that reduction of monetary support includes advertising purchases on these stations, but not other media activities such as interviews, panels, and debates; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: that the Washington State Democratic Party will deliver this request to the chairs of all County and Legislative District organizations in Washington, and to all candidates in Washington who identify as Democrats.
References: “Local News and National Politics,” by Martin and McCrain, Mar. 22, 2018.
Sinclair-owned television stations serving Washington voters:
Seattle/Tacoma: KOMO-4 (ABC), KUNS-51 (Univision)
Yakima/Pasco/Kennewick: KIMA-29 (CBS), KEPR-19 (CBS), KUNW-2 (Univision), KVVK-15 (Univision), KORX-16 (Univision)
Portland OR: KATU-2 (ABC), KUNI-16 (Univision)
Lewiston ID: KLEW-3 (CBS)