Home Vermont Local media funds tied to partisan and non-local interests

Local media funds tied to partisan and non-local interests


By Michael Bielawski

The Vermont Community Foundation announced on Thursday that it will have millions of dollars to invest in The Green Mountain State’s local media efforts such as small town newspapers. Part of a larger national program, it’s being advertised as a civic service to strengthen local communities.

“The Green Mountain State, like the nation, has also seen a steady decline in the newspaper workforce. Employment in Vermont’s newspaper industry fell 75 percent from 2000 to 2023, according to a new study at the Center for Community News at the University of Vermont,” the VCF press release states.

Those distributing this money have a record of some not-so-bipartisan initiatives, and it may be that leftwing political advocates will determine which small Vermont media outlets get the boost.

Reliable, balanced, and accessible local news”

The release stresses that this is a cause for balanced journalism, it states, “Reliable, balanced, and accessible local news is essential to sustaining connected communities and a vibrant democracy.”

This specific initiative is called Press Forward Vermont, and it comes with some major funding.

“As a central component of a multi-year initiative around democracy and civic engagement, the Vermont Community Foundation is proud to announce the launch of Press Forward Vermont. With this local chapter, the Community Foundation partners with Press Forward, a national coalition investing more than $500 million to strengthen communities by reimagining local news,” the release states.

Far-left politics

The VCF website details numerous left-wing political causes. For example, the previous presser they put out is regarding the Samara Fund supporting the LGBTQ community.

This release states, “Funding is now available through the Samara Fund, a group of queer and trans Vermonters committed to a vision of transformational grants and scholarships to the people and groups throughout Vermont who demonstrate their dedication to the empowerment, health, and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV positive (LGBTQ+) people.”

Not local money

Press Forward originates with The Miami Foundation based in Florida.

Their webpage states, “The goal of Press Forward is to catalyze a local news renaissance that will reshape the landscape and re-center local journalism as a force for community cohesion, civic participation, and government accountability.”

The site notes that local newspapers are desperate for funding.

“Across the country, we see news agencies closing at a rate of two per week. As local news deserts grow across the United States, communities become vulnerable without access to clear, accurate information, governments go unchecked, important stories don’t get lifted, and misinformation spreads,” they state.

A further look at other initiatives on their website reveal that these local media funds come from a political and partisan organization. For example, one of the accomplishments listed on their about page reads, “We launched a Racial Equity Fund to address systemic racism in our community, and have raised more than $1.4 million to support leaders at the frontlines.”

Media consolidation accelerating

A report by The Free Speech Center at the Middle Tennessee State University reveals that consolidation of large and local media control into smaller concentrations of power has been an developing problem in American media for decades.

“After World War II and particularly through the 1960s and 1970s, local newspapers began to close or merge as readership declined and audiences gravitated to television news; as a result, ownership of newspapers consolidated.

It continued that newspapers and other local outlets are getting absorbed into this consolidation.

“A study by media analyst Ben Bagdikian has charted this consolidation over a 30-year period. Bagdikian’s 2004 analysis indicates that Americans are served by 1,468 daily newspapers, 6,000 assorted magazines, 10,000 radio stations, 2,700 television and cable stations, and 2,600 book publishers that are under the aegis of five major multinational corporations.”

The author is a writer for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

The post Local media funds tied to partisan and non-local interests first appeared on Vermont Daily Chronicle.

The post Local media funds tied to partisan and non-local interests appeared first on Vermont Daily Chronicle.

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