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The Rise of Left-Wing Nonprofit Journalism (Who's Funding Nonprofit Journalism?)


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Capital Research

The decline of traditional metropolitan “objective” media outlets has affected the news landscape dramatically. Those outlets were more liberal and less objective than they pretended, and their business model, which relied on advertising, has collapsed as online advertising has soared. This had led to targeted partisan journalism on the left and right, for business as well as political reasons. But while traditional outlets like the New York Times have moved further leftward, they and other national outlets have lost the trust of most Americans, who now place much more trust in state and local media.

In response, left-wing foundations have made massive investments in nonprofit journalism and related efforts. Most recently, liberal foundations led by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have staked $500 million over five years in hopes of fundamentally upending the local news marketplace and buying the trustworthiness of local news to use as camouflage for left-wing propaganda. Thus, the Left continues to expand its existing state-level “nonprofit newsrooms” that distribute ideological agitprop. The largest is States Newsroom network; another is the Courier Newsroom. States Newsroom, spawned from the Arabella Advisors network, operates in 38 states and in 2021 spent $13.2 million, four times the closest center-right analog, Franklin News Foundation. Another right-leaning analog, Star News Digital Media, is even smaller.

The Left also works to boost its talent pipelines feeding into the media environment by focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and leftist-aligned “communities”—an emphasis that strengthens the internal mobs at major outlets who brook no dissent from the radical line. Further leftward pressure comes from the NewsGuild–Communications Workers of America union, active in many prestigious outlets and far-left even by “social justice unionism” standards. It recently endorsed “Solidarity with the Palestinians from the river to the sea.”

Nonprofit efforts like ProPublica feed investigations picked up by larger outlets. These, too, have a strong leftward effect, as intended by ProPublica’s donors who fund, for example, not only numerous investigations into conservative Supreme Court justices (and no investigations into liberal justices) but also fund advocacy groups that demand court packing. ProPublica donors include the Sandler Foundation, which also funds Demand Justice; the Hewlett Foundation, which also funds Fix the Court; and Ford; Open Society; and others. This investigative journalism is a double-edged sword, one side sharpened to attack enemies, the other blunted to protect friends.:snip:

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