Soros-Funded ProPublica Enters Local Journalism Market

NewsBusters | 10/11/2017 | Staff
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A George Soros-funded nonprofit is seeking to help fill the local journalism void, by bringing more liberal journalism to town. Starting with Illinois.

Nonprofit outlet ProPublica announced a new “Local Reporting Network” initiative to fund up to six journalists for one year in cities with populations below 1 million, starting in January, 2018. ProPublica has received millions of dollars from Soros, the Knight Foundation and others. It’s founding grant came from liberal Herbert Sander, who also funded the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

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On Oct. 5, 2017, ProPublica asked interested newsrooms to submit an in-depth project proposal that fits within ProPublica’s aim “to spur change through stories with moral force.”

The Local Reporting Network is just the latest local journalism project launched by ProPublica. Earlier in 2017, the liberal nonprofit launched ProPublica Illinois, “an independent, nonprofit newsroom” which intends to bring ProPublica’s “collaborative model” to the state level.

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Although the reporters chosen for the Local Reporting Network stay with their local newsrooms, ProPublica made clear it would provide “extensive guidance and support” to the project. That, coupled with ProPublica’s liberal donors and the fact that “entries will be judged by ProPublica editors” means ProPublica has ample opportunity to insert its own liberal bias.

After all, ProPublica launched the “Documenting Hate” project in January 2017 to “build authoritative data on hate crimes and bias incidents.” Partners included the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center, which targeted the right through its “Hate Map,” Univision and Buzzfeed. None of the 21 partners were conservative.

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ProPublica president Richard Tofel also defended Buzzfeed on Twitter for releasing an unverified Russian dossier in January, 2017 that attacked President Donald Trump. CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn called the dossier gossip and said“throwing out raw information just to see what sticks is not journalism.”

When the IRS targeted conservative groups in 2012, ProPublica helped by releasing...
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