A new group has been formed to fight against what it calls disinformation, using a model one activist said would “erode the public’s trust in media.”
A new public benefit corporation backed by far-left billionaires including George Soros and Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, will do battle with the forces of any opinions it does not like under the banner of Good Information Inc., Axios reported Tuesday.
The outfit “aims to fund and scale businesses that cut through echo chambers with fact-based information” and will invest in local news outlets.
Axios did not disclose what form such investments might take but said it “could mean funding new or existing companies that boost news from existing news outlets.”
The group will be led by Tara McGowan, who has worked as a Democratic strategist and headed a progressive nonprofit called ACRONYM.
“The information crisis we’re in is so much bigger than politics,” McGowan said.
Good Information Inc. will acquire Courier Newsroom from ACRONYM as part of its effort to wade into local news.
Courier comes with a troubling past.
Fox News has described the company as a “far-left website” that “has managed to drive liberal messaging in key states online and on social media, with piles of cash and no financial disclosure.”
Calling Courier a “left-wing dark money operation,” Fox reported that its alleged news stories “often appear to be little more than Democratic Party talking points.”
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the outside counsel for Americans for Public Trust, said the group was not a healthy addition to the media universe.
“I think it’s an unprecedented political news organization. While there are complaints of media bias, fake news, no media outlet is doing what Courier Newsroom is,” Laxalt said. “They were stood up by a large, left-of-center political world and they appear to be directly engaged in political persuasion.”
The former state AG added that ventures like Courier have the potential to “erode the public’s trust in media.”
A report in Salon said the company “has set up what appear to be local news sites but are actually propaganda efforts aimed at creating content to be shared on social media to boost moderate Democrats.”
A purely political site that pretends to be news is “super opaque to the consumer,” said Kelly McBride, chair of the Poynter Institute’s Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, according to Politico.
“When you click on Vox or some other news website that has a liberal bent to it, it still was created with the idea of putting out news for the sake of a business model. In this case, the very purpose for this site to exist is different,” McBride said last year.
The advisory committee for Good Information Inc. includes former White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Civic Signal Founder Eli Pariser, Check My Ads co-founder Nandini Jammi, former Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times Editor Mark Jacob, Accountable Tech co-founder Nicole Gill and others.
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