Charles Koch: “There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda”

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I found this at Jim Romenesko’s blog:

“Charles Koch tells the Wall Street Journal that Koch Industries might add newspapers to its portfolio, but insists that the company is looking for profitable publications rather than platforms to spread the Koch brothers’ views.

“There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda or not news that is really editorializing,” he says.”

 

Really?

I think we can get a sense for what Mr. Koch thinks is an “agenda” by revisiting a story by Andy Kroll in which we learn of Koch Industries’ attempt to silence a Pulitzer Prize-winning news outlet because they report on climate change.:

 

One journalist with whom Koch Industries has clashed is David Sassoon, the publisher of InsideClimate News, a nonprofit website devoted to environmental journalism. Inside Climate News recently won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the dodgy oversight of U.S. oil pipelines. AfterInsideClimate News reported on Koch Industries’ ties to the Canadian tar sands business, Koch Industries blasted the site’s “agenda-driven, dishonest journalism” and pressured Reuters, the global news service, to reconsider its decision to publish InsideClimate News’ stories. (Reuters stood by Sassoon and his small team of reporters.)

I asked Sassoon, fresh off his Pulitzer win, what he thought of the news of Koch Industries potentially bidding on the Tribune Company newspapers. “We reported on the Kochs’ involvement in the tar sands, and they played hardball to try to shut us up,” he wrote in an email. “They pressured Reuters to drop us as a content partner, and ran ads on Google and Facebook calling me liar…. What we’ve experienced of them firsthand makes me think they would not be trustworthy stewards of the honorable traditions of journalism.”

 

A big hat tip to one of my favorite blogs, Fair.org, which tipped me off to Kroll’s story.

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