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Jane Akre and Steve Wilson

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Accusing Fox News Corporation of "intentionally airing false and distorted news reports," former reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre filed a challenge against the company's license to broadcast using publicly owned airwaves.[1]

The married couple filed a petition on 3 January 2005 with the Federal Communications Commission to deny renewal of license to Tampa station WTVT, Channel 13, for "intentionally airing false and distorted news reports" in 1997.[2]

Background

After a five-week trial and six hours of deliberation which ended August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury unanimously determined that Fox "acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs' news reporting on BGH."[3]

After three judges found in favour of Akre and Wilson on six separate occasions, their rulings were overturned by an appeals court. In 2005 the New York Times reported that "after an appellate court overturned a ruling in favor of Ms. Akre, the couple paid their former employer at least $150,000 to cover legal fees."[4]

Goldman Prize Winners

Akre and Wilson were 2001 winners for the Nroth America section of the Goldman Environmental Prize According to the website of the Goldman Environmental Prize, after Akre won "a suit against Fox for violating Florida's Whistleblower Law, which makes it illegal to retaliate against a worker who threatens to reveal employer misconduct. They must now defend the $425,000 award to Akre through the appeals process. Meanwhile, with their assets drained, neither has been able to work full-time in television news. They recently formed a production company to expose environmental and health news that is increasingly ignored by mainstream media."[5]

Website

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Former Reporters Attempt Fox Shutdown", The Dominion, February 3, 2005.
  2. [1]
  3. "Jury Verdict Overturned on Legal Technicality", BGH Bulletin, undated, accessed May 2008.
  4. Danny Hakim, "Detroit Mayor and TV Reporter Are Locked in Video War", New York Times, June 2, 2005.
  5. Goldman Environmental Prize, "Jane Akre & Steve Wilson", Goldman Environmental Prize website, 2001.

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External Resources