NEW: A network of 1,300 websites aim to fill a news void left by vanishing local papers across the U.S. It is built on propaganda ordered up by conservative advocacy groups & Republican operators, according to a year-long investigation by me and
Local newspapers are vanishing across the country. Popping up in their place: A network of nearly 1,300 local websites publishing articles ordered up by Republican groups and PR firms.
NEW: A network of 1,300 websites targeting small towns and cities across the U.S. is built not on traditional journalism, but rather propaganda ordered up by Republican groups and P.R. firms. A nearly yearlong investigation by and me
Literally fake news: A network of nearly 1,300 websites that masquerade as news outlets but in fact are propaganda ordered up by conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and PR consultants. ⁦⁩ ⁦
First in DC and now nationwide, the right is perfecting the art of pay-to-play "journalism." Chilling story.
Important story about sites that seem like ordinary local news publications but run articles "directed by political groups and corporate P.R. firms to promote a Republican candidate or a company, or to smear their rivals."
The sites appear as ordinary local news outlets, with names like Des Moines Sun and Ann Arbor Times. Most declare that they aim to provide "objective" information but do not disclose that some of the articles are directed by clients.
The man largely behind the network itself is Brian Timpone, a former TV reporter who has sought to capitalize on the decline of local news for nearly two decades. He did not respond to requests for comment.
After publication, the reporter received an email from her editor: The “client” who had ordered the article, her editor said, wanted it to include more detail.
Ordered up stories typically promote a Republican candidate or a company, or smear their rivals. We saw an assignment to paint Susan Collins’ rival in Maine a “hypocrite.” A hotel magnate who faced backlash for huge federal loan ordered up positive stories
The network also takes advantage of many under-employed and out-of-work journalists. The journalists we spoke to who write for the network said they overlooked their doubts because the pay was steady and journalism jobs were scarce.
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises: a nationwide operation of 1,300 sites - disguised as local news outlets - publishes coverage that is ordered up by Republican groups & corporate PR firms to promote a GOP candidate or to smear their rivals
As small newspapers across the country vanish, they are being replaced by sites that seem to be newspapers, but whose coverage is directed by conservative PR firms to promote GOP candidates or smear rivals, a Times investigation found. Exhibit A: Maine
The decline of local news leaves a vaccuum that partisan junk and disinformation fill. Excellent report by and .
Monty Bennett, a big Trump donor, apparently hired a shadowy pay-for-play “news” operation to run stories to help him get federal stimulus money and to harass a creditor.
As local news disappears, local propaganda rises to take its place.
Nice work from ⁦⁩ , building on our ⁦⁩ research with some excellent reporting. As we have often said in our research, what replaces advertising supported media at local level ought to concern everyone
This is what is moving into the vacuum they've left behind. Local journalism is essential for democracy, and deserves your support.
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place via
One of the companies featured in this story recently bought the newspaper in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Here’s what happened next, per a city councilman.
Incredibly important trend: there are now 1,300 pay-to-play or partisan sites masquerading as independent local news sites. It means that we've moved from 1) collapse of local news leaves a vacuum of info to 2) vacuum being filled by disinformation etc.
*They use the fake news like Fox, Breitbart, and OANN to prey on people that will blindly trust, use confirmation bias, and fail to ever look for the facts.* And they've got a new trick up their evil little sleeves
via , how political operatives are paying for propaganda and making it look like news.
I'm not sure what is the bigger danger-- that more people will be exposed to shady info through these sites, or that the sites will get lumped in and weaken the already buckling credibility of otherwise legit local journalism.
Democracy suffers when real news outlets die. But pay-to-play fake news outlets by political operatives are poisonous to democracy. ⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦
A network of 1,300 websites aims to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the US, built not on traditional journalism but on propaganda ordered up by conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and PR professionals
wait, are you this guy? awful
Look what our old buddy from Journatic is up to.
Well, this is bad. As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place. A nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites publishes coverage that is ordered up by Republican groups & corporate PR firms. Between this & Sinclair Broadcast Group buying local TV news...
Local journalism is dying. There is a bipartisan bill in Congress - the Local Journalism Sustainability Act - that should be passed immediately. In the absence of local news misinformation flourishes.
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place: "The network...is built not on traditional journalism but on propaganda ordered up by dozens of conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and [PR] professionals"
An important story by and about the corruption of local news, by -- you guessed it -- the Republicans: As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
More on local-sounding news sites popping up all over to spread politically-aligned articles, including some ordered for electoral effect
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
What a story by ⁦⁩ and ⁦
“You say you’re never going to dance with the devil like that; you just judge people for doing it. And then you’re just in the exact same position.”
A nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites publishes coverage that is ordered up by Republican groups and corporate P.R. firms.
This is fake news on a massive scale - some of it funded by nonprofit conservative advocacy group, via
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
Propaganda Abhors a Vacuum. As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
Pay-to-Play Patch On Demand Media
Someone has figured out how to turn local news into a business :) Alas, this "solution" won't be very popular with most in the media
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
Looks like the local paper but... "behind the scenes, many of the stories are directed by political groups and corporate P.R. firms to promote a Republican candidate or a company, or to smear their rivals."