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Reprinting Media Releases: The GR Press fails to practice journalism in story about new TV show

August 20, 2009

DoveApprovedSealBlueWebIn last Sunday’s edition of the GR Press it was announced that a local Christian non-profit, The Dove Foundation, will be producing a new TV show that will offer movie and video game reviews with a “faith-based” perspective.

The article notes that Rachel Ruiz from WOOD TV8 and a “senior associate at Grand Rapids public relations form Lambert, Edwards & Associates, will offer their take on new movies and DVD releases.”

The article also cites the Dove Foundation founder and director Dick Rolfe who emphasizes the show’s focus is to provide a Christian program to help families know which films are “appropriate” to view as a family.

The Press offers no background information on the Dove Foundation but quotes Rolfe as saying, the show will be “a vehicle to expand our brand and our reach to more consumers.”

The Dove Foundation has very narrow guidelines about what films are family friendly, based on their own interpretation of Christianity. For instance, while they take issue with obscene language and hyper-sexual content in movies, they rarely challenge violence and hyper-commercialism that are more and more present in films that target younger audiences.

One of the officers for the Dove Foundation is Dar Vander Ark, the director of the Michigan Decency Action Council, a right wing organization that promotes censorship and is actively anti-gay. The Dove Foundation also has on its board of director Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a conservative radio talk show host.

Dove also has received funding from such entitles as the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation and the Edgar & Elsie Prince Foundation (parents of Blackwater founder Erik Prince).

The Dove Foundation has a very clear agenda that is more than a vague notion of promoting family values media. It is unfortunate that the GR Press did not do more than reprint a version of the Media Release that the foundation sent out.

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