The Associated Press is making a big push to hire young reporters to cover state legislatures but a media watchdog is predictably raising concerns.
The longtime wire service is partnering with a group called GroundTruth Project, which will help fund some of the positions in 13 state capitals.
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center tells OneNewsNow there is certainly a “crisis” for news coverage of state houses around the country.
“If you're not online, you're completely closed out to what's going on in state houses around the country,” he observes. “Bureaus have closed. Newspapers have shrunk. Newspapers have disappeared.”
GroundTruth is also wooing future reporters at a time when liberal journalists are openly fighting the Trump administration, not just reporting on it, at the same time President Trump is openly at war over what he calls “fake news” that is out to get him.
Beyond the liberal bias of the AP – OneNewsNow is a customer of the wire service and witnesses the bias daily - there is also concern about GroundTruth, which is funded by left-leaning organizations such as the Knight Foundation that advertises its support for journalism and for the arts.
“Now that, in theory, is a journalism foundation,” Gainor says, “but in practice it funds many of the same things as [George] Soros funds.”
Soros, the far-left billionaire, has become a boogeyman to conservatives for spreading his money and influence behind hundreds -- if not thousands -- of organizations with the goal of pushing the media, the courts, and politicians farther to the left. More than $48 million has been spent on journalism.
“The Left figured out something I wish – my gosh, I wish – right-wing donors would figure out,” Gainor says. “That if you control the narrative locally, you control the narrative nationally.”
Soros, in fact, has done just that by financially backing state legislators and local prosecutors.
Gainor says the capital city of your state matters, too, because liberal reporters will be walking the halls of the statehouse searching for dirt on conservatives.