The new coalition, known as Press Forward, claims to be an organization that will be "independent of ideology." However, many of the groups that have signed up for the initiative appear to have a left-wing bias based on their funding and programs.
The coalition claims its main goal is to reverse the downward trajectory of local news outlets and "close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice." Press Forward rightly pointed out that, since 2005, roughly 2,500 newspapers in the U.S. have ceased operations. This number is rising, and many local news companies that are still in business have been forced to make cuts to their operations to remain afloat. (Related: 168-year-old Santa Barbara News-Press files for bankruptcy, fires all workers.)
The $500 million Press Forward will be supporting local newspapers and newsrooms "that have the trust of local communities." It intends to strengthen the local environments to allow for greater news production and better dissemination of information, close longstanding inequalities in journalism coverage and practice, and advance public policies that expand access to local news outlets.
Press Forward has received commitments from many major so-called philanthropic foundations.
One of Press Forward's major backers is the Knight Foundation, a major philanthropic organization dedicated to journalism. The foundation has pledged $150 million for Press Freedom over the next five years.
"You've got to build the road before you can put a lot of cars on it," said Jim Brady, the foundation's vice president of journalism. He added that building a sustainable local news environment relies on pouring investments into news outlets that are "connected to their communities in meaningful ways … not just 'traffic-guzzling.'"
The Knight Foundation has previously given over $1.2 million to nine universities and nonprofits to "combat disinformation in communities of color."
Another major funder is the MacArthur Foundation, which has similarly committed to providing at least $150 million in grants to Press Forward over the next five years. This is in addition to the $25 million in "impact investments" it has already provided to the coalition.
The MacArthur Foundation has frequently contributed to left-wing organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Tides Foundation, the latter of which is dedicated to funding progressive causes. The MacArthur Foundation has given more than $5 million to all three groups.
"Ultimately this is about democracy," claimed MacArthur Foundation President John Palfrey. "Is our democracy stronger? And is local news in a position to support communities and individuals as they take part in democracy?"
Other foundations that have made major commitments to help fund Press Forward's propaganda initiative include The Archewell Foundation of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Miami Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
For more about media outlets in the U.S., head over to NewsCartels.com.
Watch this clip from Newsmax discussing how the American mainstream media continues to try to protect President Joe Biden.