For years, local journalism has been collapsing. Between 2018 and 2020, nearly 6,000 journalism jobs and 300 newspapers vanished a longstanding trend that accelerated with the COVID pandemic. But, not to worry, help is on the way.
Enter Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit organization. They are “a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.” They will pay half of the salaries of the “talented” journalists they propose to place in your communities. Plus, they assist local news organizations to raise the other half of the salaries through local donors. They have reporters now in 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. They had 300 reporters placed in 2021 and plan on increasing that number to 1000 in 2024. Hundreds of foundations and donors support this initiative including Facebook, Google, and the Ford Foundation among others.
Not to be outdone, especially since Democrats are now in charge, the feds jumped in as well.
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was passed in 2021 to provide a pathway to financial viability for local newspapers around the nation through payroll tax credits. In essence, journalists would “have Uncle Sam picking up half the tab for their salaries” to the tune of over a billion dollars. Keep in mind, that the majority of these local newspapers overwhelmingly support Democrats.
It takes no stretch of the imagination to perceive the financial lifeline that local newspapers require comes with strings attached, namely, left-leaning journalists.
And just in time for the next presidential election in 2024!
According to Thomas Lifson, co-founder, and publisher of American Thinker:
“In my experience, local newspapers, which mostly employ younger and cheaper journalists than bigger papers, are even more biased than the New York Times or WaPo. Their heads filled with propaganda in J-schools, the youngsters seek attention and maybe even a job offer from the industry’s bigger fish by supporting what they (correctly) perceive as the norms of the industry: make conservatives look evil and stupid, and make progressives and Democrats look heroic.”
States Newsroom Network states that its goal is to provide local communities with free “hard-hitting reporting and commentary to shine a spotlight on state government decision-making and to ensure elected officials are being held accountable for the impacts that their decisions have on communities.” They do not disclose the identity of their grassroots donors or philanthropic supporters. They called on NewsGuard ratings agency not to endorse “the work of outlets that promote conspiracy theories and white nationalism such as Breitbart, 100 Percent Fed Up, the Gateway Pundit, the Daily Caller, TheBlaze and Fox News.”
In response, CEO Steven Brill of NewsGuard said the following:
“We love local journalism, especially “hard-hitting” journalism. We love philanthropic journalism. What we don’t love is politically-funded organizations with an undisclosed agenda and undisclosed funders posing as journalism. I know that your reporters are well-credentialed and well-meaning. But their journalism is not “free.” It has been bought by people with a political agenda. At the least, your journalistic pedigrees should make you insist on disclosing who they are and what that agenda is — i.e., that you are “hard-hitting” as long as the hard hits don’t come at the expense of your funders’ political goals. Meantime, your lofty, deceptive pronouncements on your “about” pages are the kinds of claims that undermine the similar mission statements of real local newsrooms that have not been rented out to one political side or the other.
You’ve urged NewsGuard to “stand up for real journalism.” By identifying politically-funded, non-transparent organizations that use deceptive mission statements to pose as real journalism, that’s what we’re doing. You expect those you write about to come clean. So should you.”
At least there is someone in the corporate world who sees fake news for what it is.
The prevailing mainstream news media promote the notion of “advocacy journalism.” Since the notion of “objectivity” has been trashed in the moral arena by “relativism,” it has likewise taken a nose dive in the realm of journalism. Conservatives have long-held grievances against the biased mainstream media. So, the MSM has responded with — “yes, we are biased. And proud of it! All in support of noble social and political purposes. The ends justify the means.”
Thus, leftist nonprofit organizations train cadres of young journalists to do their bidding. They learn to spin narratives faster than a figure skater. They are primed to go after what they term the “pink slime” journalism of local news. This is their label for right-wing propaganda. Since they determined that there was just too much “pink slime” in the wake of the 2020 election, it is their job to be modern-day muckrakers and clean it out.
What they don’t seem to understand is that millions of Americans are not buying their deceptive tactics. Their version of truth is to cherry-pick news that suits their political agendas and ignore those that don’t. Whatever happened to the Hunter Biden laptop story and the China connection? It wasn’t pink slime that buried that one! The blatant fraud and illegality witnessed at the TCF Center in Detroit in the election of 2020 was steamrollered by mainstream media. But groups such as Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity just won’t buy the notion that the 2020 election was the “most secure in history.” Their assertion is that it was, in fact, “the least secure election in history.”
Leftists are notorious for mission creep. They have been chipping away at the foundations of America for years. They have gaslighted the public by coming in the back doors a little at a time with tons of money, savvy strategists, teams of technocrats, and professional know-how.
This reminds one of the statement by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as it applies to taxes but could equally apply to political indoctrination:
“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers, with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”
Leftist journalists may think that they can keep the “hissing” of conservative Americans under the radar. Those days are gone. A roar is about to be unleashed in 2024. Stay tuned!
Originally published on American Thinker
Rebecca Behrends, M.D. is a retired ED physician and vice president of research for Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity (MC4EI.com).