(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) With trust in mainstream media cratering to all-time lows, the vested interests of news companies underwritten by agenda-driven activists bear scrutiny like never before.
Corporate media outlets have for years accepted donations from nonprofit organizations and tailored coverage to their interests. Those nonprofits, in turn, are often advancing the partisan objectives of billionaire oligarchs like Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
A November 2021 analysis by MintPress News examined 30,000 grants that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded. It revealed that the foundation had donated $319 million to both American and international media companies, including the CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS, The Atlantic, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, as well as foreign-language newspapers and broadcasters.
NPR accepted nearly $24.7 million, The Guardian almost $13 million, Cascade Public Media—a Pacific Northwest media conglomerate—another $10.9 million, NBCUniversal Media $4.37 million, and CNN $3.6 million.
CNN took one grant to fund woke journalism about “everyday inequalities endured by women and girls across the world.”
“Today, it is possible for an individual to train as a reporter thanks to a Gates Foundation grant, find work at a Gates-funded outlet, and to belong to a press association funded by Gates,” the left-leaning MintPress reported.
The Gates Foundation indoctrinates journalists early by funding journalism programs at major universities, including a $1.86 million grant to Johns Hopkins University.
Local papers have noted the conflict of interest and then proceeded to accept the grants.
“The foundation’s grants to media organizations … raise obvious conflict-of-interest questions: How can reporting be unbiased when a major player holds the purse strings?” the Seattle Times asked in 2011 before receiving a Gates Foundation grant of its own.
The growing media bias intersects with a trend of woke companies virtue-signaling their progressive values in order to excuse their egregious behavior.
For journalists already inclined to lean leftward, that may lead them to believe that the profit-driven corporations are playing for the same team.
“[I]t’s remarkable how intensely secretive the Gates Foundation is about its financial flows,” given how it “so very often trumpets the importance of transparency,” noted investigative journalist Tim Schwab—who’s writing a book on Gates and the Gates Foundation.
As the 2020 presidential election revealed, however, those same institutions conspiring as one can have a deleterious effect on democracy and sow the seeds of public distrust in ways that ultimately harm all of its stakeholders.
Some organizations, such as the Associated Press and ProPublica, have simply admitted their decision to accept these donations and to adapt news coverage according to the preferences of their donors.
The Associated Press in a Feb. 15 article openly proclaimed that it will hire “more than two dozen journalists across the world to cover climate issues, in the news organization’s largest single expansion paid for through philanthropic grants.”
The AP said the climate-change grant is the “most recent of a series of grants” that the company began to accept in the mid-2010s “to boost coverage in health and science, religion, water issues and philanthropy itself. ”
Five organizations will fund the three-year, $8-million propaganda project: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Quadrivium, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.
It is difficult to determine which groups or individuals fund the nonprofit organizations that, in turn, dictate how media outlets cover the news.
ProPublica helped the nonprofit and billionaire-funded journalism model explode.
The so-called investigative journalism outlet receives most of its funding from major nonprofit groups, including the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Atlantic Philanthropies.