Big Journalism reports on the latest corrupt conflict of interest involving the FCC:
So much for objectivity. One of the FCC stipulations of the Comcast – NBCU merger was the incorporation of non-profit journalism centers into NBC newsrooms. They are charged with maintaining and increasing local news coverage, the regulation based on the relationship between KNSD-TV and VoiceofSanDiego.org.
KNSD airs the segments, but really can’t take all the credit for them. They are largely the work ofVoiceOfSanDiego.org, a local nonprofit journalism center that has been sharing news tips, co-producing and supplying content to the station for several years.
Under the terms of the FCC order approving Comcast’s takeover of NBCU, at least half of NBC’s 10 O&Os have to find a nonprofit news center with which to work within the next year. The order cites the KNSD-VoiceOfSanDiego.org alliance as the model for what it would like to see in other NBC markets.
Proponents of the growing nonprofit news movement are hoping that NBC’s FCC-mandated efforts will bear fruit and encourage other commercial TV stations to seek out nonprofit partners.
There’s just one problem with this: Voice of San Diego is a member of INN (Investigative News Network) which is funded by the Open Society Institute, the URL of which is “www.soros.org.” Yes, these “non-profit” journalism centers are funded by George Soros.
You don’t think that may cause just the slightest conflict of interest? The man whose goal is to omit conservative voices from the airwaves, who pays people to do nothing but follow Fox News all day long and write froshy diatribes on it. The man whose idea of “open and tolerant” is to use the words against anyone who would disagree with his self-classified brand of “openness and tolerance” by promoting free dissent as closed and intolerant.
Since its founding less than two years ago, the Investigative News Network, a nonprofit news umbrella organization, says its membership has grown from 20 to 53.
At this point, says INN CEO Kevin Davis, most of the centers are funded through grants from foundations like Knight and McCormick. Others get support from universities and private donations, he says.
People who have an economic interest in the fall of the American economic system, who rail against the freedoms our Constitution affords, and who actively targets private citizens through their mass of James Bond-esque front groups (King Street Patriots comes to mind) are completely free to invest in newsrooms but they are not free to cut a deal with the FCC to have the inclusion of their group be a mandate for a merger.
American media is so desperate to save their skins that they’ve sold their souls. They’re free to do so, but please don’t speak anymore of the freedom of the press. There is no “non-profit” about any of this. “Profit” isn’t always greenbacks and returns on investments aren’t always bankable. No, the “profit” is something far greater: exerted influence over our newsrooms under the guise of providing local news. In instances such as these, the freedom of the press has been replaced by the shareholder’s prerogative, and as a major donor, don’t think for a second that newsrooms won’t toe the line in order to keep the dollars coming. No, there’s no freedom of the press.
The business model is insane and it’s another example of old media refusing the recognize the advantage of partnering with new media. As most major stories are breaking on the Internet, it would have been a perfect opportunity for news media to reach out to their local blogging community and establish a deal in which bloggers could aid with content, AV nerds could aid in production, a true people’s initiative that doesn’t rely on an entity with competing interests for sustainability.
The idea of journalism has been bastardized and citizens have allowed it. There’s journalism and then there’s gossip, there’s editorialism, which is what you see when you turn on most network news; there’s also voyeurism and activism. Pushing one entity’s interest in contradiction to the Constitution and at the detriment of American interests isn’t journalism. It’s aiding the enemy.