by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
On Thursday, a group of 22 left-wing organizations announced the formation of a coalition that vows to spend over $500 million in a campaign to influence local media outlets.
As the Daily Caller reports, the new coalition, “Press Forward,” claims to be “independent of ideology” despite the overwhelmingly left-wing biases in many of the groups. The coalition pledges to “close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice,” according to a statement from the group.
Pointing to recent declines in local media, such as the shuttering of roughly 2,500 newspapers since 2005, Press Forward plans to put the $500 million into grants that will support local media outlets, provide them with resources, and assist in developing collaborative efforts such as legal support groups and membership programs.
The leading group in the coalition is the MacArthur Foundation, which has promised at least $150 million in grants. MacArthur has also contributed to such far-left organizations as Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Tides Foundation, having given at least $5 million worth of grants to each of these groups.
Another member of the coalition is the Knight Foundation, pledging another $150 million, which has given at least $1.2 million to nine different universities and nonprofit groups in order to “combat disinformation in communities of color.”
The remaining $200 million will be contributed by the other 20 groups, among which is the Democracy Fund, run by the progressive billionaire Pierre Omidyar, which once gave $130,000 to the Center for Internet Security to establish a “portal” for targeting conservative social media posts as “misinformation” during the 2020 presidential election. Another group is the Ford Foundation, which donated $15 million in 2021 to launch the Black Feminist Fund.