A news outlet created and funded by a digital group aligned with the Democratic Party, has drawn scrutiny over its potential influence on the upcoming elections, Politico reports.
Courier Newsroom, which was founded by the nonprofit political advocacy group Acronym, has released more than one article that according to Politico is “mostly a rewrite” of a press release from Democrat Congressman Max Rose of New York. Courier also spent about $1.4 million on Facebook ads to help boost articles about House Democrats that the party has made a top priority to protect when they come up for reelection in November.
The funding for these ad purchases comes from Acronym, which was co-founded by political strategist Tara McGowan, who previously worked at Priorities USA Action and on former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Its donors include LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and its political action group, PACRONYM, has received sizable donations from Seth Klarman and Donald Sussman, according to ABC News. Acronym also owns Shadow, Inc., which created the mobile application used to determine the results of the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party caucuses.
Last year, Acronym announced that it would invest over $1 million in local Virginia news website The Dogwood, along with other local news sources in Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to Axios.
“Coupling original, fact-based reporting with paid content distribution, Courier is reaching Americans in their news feeds and is providing a powerful counter to conservative misinformation which dominates platforms like Facebook,” Courier Newsroom Chief Operating Officer Rithesh Menon told Politico in a statement through an Acronym spokesperson. “We’re so proud of what Courier has built in its first year, and hope others in the progressive space invest in this type of digital media ecosystem - because the Right has for years.”
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