The same day Facebook launched its “News” tab, Google quietly poured money into news projects around the world. But many of these projects are aimed in one political direction.
The new project, the Google News Initiative North American Innovation Challenge, announced 34 news projects to be funded on Oct. 25. Twenty-nine of these projects were located in the states, while the other four were in Canada. One of the projects was unlisted. The first name on the list for the U.S., The Dallas Morning News, ran editorials announcing its endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke for Senate in 2018.
One of the outlets, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, received $535,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros between the years 2010-2013. The Center runs op-eds that claims that “Dems Back More Openness” than Republicans.
Some of the other projects did not seem to have a political bent (or hadn’t been started yet.) But those that were more established, like The Salt Lake Tribune, were definitely tinged with blue. The Tribune endorsed President Obama back in 2012, and in 2017 called for Republican Senator Orrin Hatch to retire.
Typically, the projects were city daily papers or newsletters that promoted Democrats over Republicans.
Detour Media LLC was not overtly political, but it was founded by Ashley C. Woods, a former Huffington Post Editor. And the Vermont Journalism Trust had an entire section dedicated to Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Another tab was dedicated to Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, another recipient, is the home of the west coast version for PBS Newshour.
The Lensfest Institute of Journalism is partnered with Facebook, The Washington Post, and the Knight Foundation. It plans on delivering more newsletters to people in Philadelphia. The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, is one of the biggest left-wing media outlets.