AP to Publish Work of Four Liberal Nonprofits

Starting July 1, the Associated Press will begin publishing articles produced by nonprofit organizations, all four of which are left-leaning.

I guess they couldn't find any conservative nonprofits.

As reported by the New York Times Saturday (h/t Paul Chesser):

Four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism will have their work distributed by The Associated Press, The A.P. will announce on Saturday, greatly expanding their potential audience and helping newspapers fill the gap left by their own shrinking resources.

Starting on July 1, the A.P. will deliver work by the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica to the 1,500 American newspapers that are A.P. members, which will be free to publish the material.

If that doesn't scare you, this will:

As they sharply reduce their staffs, many newspapers have cut back on investigations or given them up entirely. When there are barely enough reporters to cover the daily news from the local courthouse and the school board, it is harder to justify assigning someone to an in-depth project that might take weeks or months.

At the same time, independent groups doing investigative journalism have grown in number and size, fueled by foundations and wealthy patrons, and are offering their work to newspapers, magazines, television and radio news programs, and news Web sites.

So, as newspapers around the country shrink their staffs, they'll be relying on the work of others. And, with this new alliance, the AP will disseminate articles by four clearly liberal entities.

How liberal? Well, as Matt Sheffield and I reported last September, ProPublica is the brainchild of Herb and Marion Sandler, the former savings and loan moguls that have funded far-left outlets such as MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress.

As Slate's Jack Shafer asked in October 2007:

What do the Sandlers want for their millions? Perhaps to return us to the days of the partisan press. 

Shafer was rather prescient, warning:

The first American press was the partisan press, underwritten and dictated by the political parties. Starting in the 1830s or so, the profit-seeking lords of the commercial press staked their major claim to the news business and established a primacy they have maintained to this day.

The third wave in American journalism—that of the foundation press—may be taking form now thanks to Bay Area billionaires Herbert and Marion Sandler. [...]

If I were a newspaper editor considering ProPublica copy for a future issue, the first thing I'd want is proof of a firewall preventing the Sandlers and other funders from picking—or nixing—the targets of its probes.

Great suggestion, Jack, but apparently the AP didn't take your advice.

As for the other nonprofits the AP chose to begin publishing, even the liberal Wikipedia calls the Center for Public Integrity "left-leaning."

Its founder, former "60 Minutes" producer Charles Lewis, left the Center in 2004 to create another organization of the AP's new contributors list, the Investigatvie Reporting Workshop at American University.

As for the fourth entrant, the Center for Investigative Reporting, its executive director, Robert Rosenthal, used to be the managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Its advisory board includes such media liberals as Seymour Hersh, Judy Woodruff, Bill Moyers, and Mike Wallace.

As such, although the AP should be commended for reaching out to publish the work of nonprofits, couldn't it at least find ONE organization that would offer a conservative view for its readers?

After all, if shrinking newspapers are going to rely upon others -- including the AP -- for content, if their only sources will be liberal, it scarily means their publications will become -- forgive me -- more left-leaning.

Have a nice weekend.

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Noel Sheppard's picture