In a recent development, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced “The US will provide new funding to protect reporters targeted because of their work and support independent international journalism…”
While announcing the proposed “liability fund” that is supposed to support reporters targeted through litigation, Blinken cited the example of investigative journalist Dayanna Monroy who faces legal charges in Ecuador for exposing a scheme (by its govt) that aimed to sell body bags to public hospitals at 13 times the price.
While the specific instance of Ecuador and Dayanna Monroy may genuinely be a matter of exposing corruption, setting up a fund that covers activities of international journalists and not just US ones, smacks of intent to interfere in governance issues of sovereign nations.
Blinken’s announcement testifies to the US’s self-appointed role of international adjudicator. Already, the US (along with some other white European countries) “specializes” in military interventions which amount to interference in geo-political happenings worldwide.
Now, under the guise of exposing corruption, it will be able to interfere by “helping out” journalists who face legal action while reporting in different countries. But the fund doesn’t just propose to aid journalists facing legal action; it also wants to support “struggling independent news organizations.” Clearly, the objective is to support and promote news organizations so as to make them push narratives that the US seeks to promote.
Blinken said, “We’ll make the biggest contribution by any government to the recently launched International Fund for Public Interest Media, an innovative new initiative that provides assistance to at-risk independent news outlets.” He added that they would also have a Media Viability Accelerator “to make independent press outlets more sustainable…”
It’s an open secret that any agency or entity that receives funding from a given source cannot be truly independent but must work for the interests of the funding source, so claims of standing up for independent journalism cannot be taken at face value.
The report further claims: “The new initiatives come as press freedoms face increased pressure around the world.” But the Biden administrations claims of standing for press freedom and free speech are hard to believe when their party supported the draconian manner in which Twitter suppressed the voice of President Trump. Twitter also suspended handles speaking out on vote counting in the US Presidential election and many of Biden’s party members are known to have supported the action by Twitter. Such a government can hardly claim to stand for free speech.
In the Bharatiya context, media entities receiving funds to promote anti-national narratives isn’t new. In fact most Bharat-based MSM, since many decades, promotes anti-Hindu, anti-Hindutva vested interests and Western Universalism is promoted. Some years ago, it was revealed that known anti-Hindu anti-Modi outfit Scroll.in received undisclosed sums of money from the Omidyar network.
The reasons given behind this new venture of philanthropic journalism: “Omidyar believes that if independent, ferocious, investigative journalism isn’t brought to the attention of general audiences, it can never have the effect that actually creates a check on power.”
A venture capitalist, an aggressive international businessman, who tried to buy out The Washington Post in an almost hostile takeover, opens a philanthropic venture capital firm Omidyar Network for ‘independent, ferocious and investigative journalism’? It beggars belief!
The article also mentions how Pierre Omidyar helped topple the Ukrainian government. It says about Omidyar:
Primarily, he keeps countries from forming strong governments.
Along with Omidyar, others who are named for opposing strong national feeling and strong government include George Soros who is reported to have branded the rise of nationalism in Bharat as a “setback.” Soros announced he was committing $1 billion to “start a global university to fight authoritarian governments.” The response of Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance to this was:
Soros has announced a billion dollar fund to interfere in the politics of India, China, etc to ostensibly fight ‘authoritarian’ despots. This was exactly the language used by 19th century European thinkers to justify colonisation…
The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) has tied up with the Omidyar Network and Google to start a Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Company in Bharat ostensibly for job creation.
Another big name connected with funding media outlets for influencing news coverage is Bill Gates. A November report in Grayzone provides lucid details of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funding to various media outlets and states that BMGF doled out $300 million to fund media projects.
Recipients of this cash include many of America’s most important news outlets, including CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS and The Atlantic. Gates also sponsors a myriad of influential foreign organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom; prominent European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain); as well as big global broadcasters like Al-Jazeera.
Further, the report says:
The money is generally directed towards issues close to the Gateses hearts. For example, the $3.6 million CNN grant went towards “report[ing] on gender equality with a particular focus on least developed countries, producing journalism on the everyday inequalities endured by women and girls across the world”
…The Gates Foundation has also given nearly $63 million to charities closely aligned with big media outlets, including nearly $53 million to BBC Media Action, over $9 million to MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, and $1 million to The New York Times Neediest Causes Fund. While not specifically funding journalism, donations to the philanthropic arm of a media player should still be noted.
Both BBC and NYT are known for their anti-Hindu stance in their coverage of Bharat.
Additionally, the Gates Foundation also funds instructions for journalists. The report lists out the recipients: Johns Hopkins University; Teachers College, Columbia University; University of California Berkeley; Tsinghua University (China); Seattle University; Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies; Rhodes University (South Africa); Montclair State University; Pan-Atlantic University Foundation; World Health Organization; and The Aftermath Project. One can guess that the recipient Universities and Institutions would be left-leaning. The report also details out the various media campaigns funded by Gates.
Such funding is not agenda free. Ultimately, these funds get used to brainwash citizens so as to convert them to a world view held by Gates and other influencers like him. The report says $300 million is the known amount, but actual funding is likely to be much more:
Added together, these Gates-sponsored media projects come to a total of $319.4 million. However, there are clear shortcomings with this non-exhaustive list, meaning the true figure is undoubtedly far higher. First, it does not count sub-grants — money given by recipients to media around the world. And while the Gates Foundation fosters an air of openness about itself, there is actually precious little public information about what happens to the money from each grant, save for a short, one- or two-sentence description written by the foundation itself on its website. Only donations to press organizations themselves or projects that could be identified from the information on the Gates Foundation’s website as media campaigns were counted, meaning that thousands of grants having some media element do not appear in this list.
… Also not included are grants aimed at producing articles for academic journals. While these articles are not meant for mass consumption, they regularly form the basis for stories in the mainstream press and help shape narratives around key issues. The Gates Foundation has given far and wide to academic sources, with at least $13.6 million going toward creating content for the prestigious medical journal The Lancet.
Recall how Peter Daszak published an article in The Lancet in an attempt to debunk the reports of the Wuhan origin of Corona virus, but once sufficient information came to light, Daszak’s paper was proved to be untrue.
Concerning the role of Omidyar, Soros, and Gates, having a few influential individuals deciding on what content to disseminate to the world is dangerous. Not only do these individuals unilaterally decide which world view is ideal, they also want everyone in the world to embrace that world view.
Funding media for an agenda also raises questions about conflict-of-interest issues:
That the Gates Foundation is underwriting a significant chunk of our media ecosystem leads to serious problems with objectivity…How can reporting be unbiased when a major player holds the purse strings..
Hindupost had previously spoken about the dangers of philanthro-capitalism in the context of food security in Africa. The Grayzone report expresses a similar concern:
“Philanthropy can and is being used deliberately to divert attention away from different forms of economic exploitation that underpin global inequality today,” said Linsey McGoey, Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, U.K., and author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy. She adds: “The new ‘philanthro-capitalism’ threatens democracy by increasing the power of the corporate sector at the expense of the public sector organizations.”…
The US government’s role ostensibly to support “independent journalism” is a similar exercise to push their own official agenda.
(Featured Image Source: mattbel.org)