Looking for heroes
August 24, 2020 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Journalism’s Gates keepers – freelance journalist Tim Schwab writes in the Columbia Journalism Review about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s contributions to journalism (more than $250 million, to outlets such as NPR, BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, The Atlantic etc.) and the ethical issues it raises, as the most prominent example of a larger trend of "billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news".
posted by bitteschoen (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Tech's major problem is that it defunded journalism. As it happens, working societies need journalists -- if you can't manage what you can't measure, we fired all the people measuring society.

Half of journalism lost their job last year. HALF.

Of course none of this is "just tech", but it's a real effect, and we have to manage it.
posted by effugas at 12:09 PM on August 24 [9 favorites]

At last, his own sort of people are saying it.

You knew when he ad hominened Dr Dambisa Moyo in the news media, tsk tsk, Billu, is that how you talk to a woman of African heritage?

A lot of it has been erased but I was there, I was only 47 years old back in 2013 and still retain my full faculties.

Anglo poodle blurring of the point as usual
posted by infini at 12:33 PM on August 24 [1 favorite]

His media budget also buys pet social media accounts in Africa, the usual new ones with a handful of followers to flood critics mentions with arguments on how great he and his foundation is.

Melinda is famous for predicting on TV that covid would have bodies littering the streets in Africa. Still waiting, y'all...
posted by infini at 12:44 PM on August 24

posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:55 PM on August 24

Some of the examples--especially the NPR ones--reminded me journalists justifying their Disney-funded junkets in Hiaasen's Team Rodent: It won't change what they write and beside, it's not like someone would want to write something bad about Disney in the first place, would they now?
posted by mark k at 9:10 PM on August 24

The other kind oppression I have alluded to is less conspicuous and is therefore much harder to spot.

To see it, one actually has to conduct a proper investigation, and dig much deeper than mainstream sources. In the Covid-19 fiasco, this would mean not only looking at information made available by the World Health Organisation, Johns Hopkins University, the Imperial College of London, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and numerous other “official” sources, many of which coincidentally received or continue to receive sponsorship from Bill Gates.

posted by infini at 3:44 AM on August 25

I wonder how many of these journalism philanthropists are also invested in the hedge funds that have eviscerated newsrooms for the past three decades.
posted by rockindata at 3:52 AM on August 25

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