ProPublica…A New News Agency to Push Back Against FOX…

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A new nonpartisan news agency named ProPublica is about to start offering free of charge “investigative journalism” created with “moral force” to newspapers and other news sources around the country. So far the announcement has been met with wide support. The new agency is scheduled for start up in early 2008.

ProPublica is being funded by two left-wing billionaires responsible for funding other investigative groups such as the Center for Investigative Reporting. Because of this, of course, conservatives are already complaining that the new news agency will be ‘left-biased.’ One conservative blog, Publius’ Forum, squawks…

“Now, imagine how the MSM would be clicking tongues if a news agency were to be founded by a well-known     conservative. Imagine how the MSM would be throwing around the word “bias” with abandon and how they would assume right off the bat that such a new news agency couldn’t possibly be a realnews source because the founder of it was a conservative. Would the opposite situation elicit such clucking? Would the MSM scoff at the claim of non-partisan reporting if a left-wing activist started a news agency?”

I don’t think we really need to examine that complaint for too long. Right-wing-nuts already have a well established biased news outlet. Maybe you have heard of it – it’s called News Corporation. You know, Fox News and all that unbiased coverage? If you want to check out any of the horse-s#&t that passes for investigative journalism and unbiased commentary, just visit Media Matters.

Conservatives have no basis for complaint here until ProPublica actually begins operations and proves themselves to be as ‘biased’ as conservatives claim. Until that fateful moment, I’m sure they will demonize the effort as they do with anything else that doesn’t strictly align with conservative talking points. The fact is, we desperately need a push for old style journalism in this country. We need to revive the kind of professionalism that was taken for granted and that now has been compromised by charlatans like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and the newsroom at FOX.

ProPublica describes itself on its website:

ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that will produce investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work will focus exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We will do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.

Other endorsements:

PRWeek

A well-funded new nonprofit venture named ProPublica is out to revive the flagging practice of investigative journalism in American media.

The New York Times claims that ProPublica

“…will pitch each project to a newspaper or magazine (and occasionally to other media) where the group hopes the work will make the strongest impression. The plan is to do long-term projects, uncovering misdeeds in government, business and organizations.

Editor & Publisher quotes ProPublica news chief Paul Steiger, “My sense is that people are very optimistic. Just in conversations with people, high and low in the halls, I get the notion that folks are optimistic,” he says.

The hiring of Steiger, the former Wall Street Journal managing editor, also takes some wind out of conservative sails on the bias argument, as the WSJ is one of the most conservative papers in the country. Conservatives are also whining that Roger Ailes is constantly attacked because he is a conservative. What they fail to understand is that Ailes is not attacked because of his conservatism, he is attacked because he and his news arm are two-bit liars and that lying has been documented and criticized by liberals and conservatives alike! You can verify this in any newspaper of cable outlet – except FOX maybe.

Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch

Again Publius’ Forum…

“How is it that a conservative MUST interject his bias into his product, but it is automatically assumed that a pair of super rich, leftist activists will leave their bias completely out of their so-called news?”

It’s not that Ailes MUST interject biases, HE ALREADY HAS! ProPublica isn’t out of the gate yet and conservatives are already on them like chrome on a Cadillac. Give it up! You have nothing to base your complaints on! At least let them become a news agency before you spring to action! You guys will still have FOX which is little more than a high-school level prodiced right-wing propaganda instrument.  

This project is well-intended, although the sources of it’s funding may raise some issues. However, if it’s good enough for Rupert Murdoch, it’s good enough for the lefties. I believe it is high time for some push back against amateur news outlets like FOX and others. Moreover, I do hope that the people backing and running this new agency will have the presence of mind to maintain high professional standards and not inadvertently give conservatives the media weapons they are looking for to delegitimize this much needed effort.

I say to ProPublica…Keep it real, but keep it fair…and I don’t mean FOX’s version of fair.

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Posted on October 25, 2007, in Media, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sounds like something I’d want to check out. I like the “investigative journalism” angle. All news, but especially cable news, is more commentary than anything else. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I think it’s important to hear what people like Bill-O and Keith have to say about the issues. But I think we need a place to go for “just the facts, ma’am”.

  2. Kip,

    I agree. Helps the small fish in the pond like you and I.

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