In its long march through the institutions, the left long ago captured the universities and long ago captured the journalism profession. So it pretty much goes without saying the left has captured the journalism schools in the universities.
To the surprise of no one, there is a liberal nonprofit journalism organization — the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WisconsinWatch.org) — housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Not everyone is pleased with this arrangement. As Lauren Ingeno reported for Inside Higher Ed:
In a 12-4 vote during the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee introduced a motion that would prohibit the nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from occupying its two offices in a campus building at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The provision would also prevent University of Wisconsin employees from doing any work related to the investigative journalism center.
Under a "Facilities Use Agreement," the center occupies UW-Madison's offices in exchange for providing the students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with paid internships, guest lectures and other services.
Wisconsin is a state where the Republicans at times can actually be bold. Doubtless many of them recognize that, as David Horowitz once put it, the modern university “has become a farm system for the Democratic Party and the radical left.” Lefty nonprofits are free to practice journalism, of course, but why should the state’s taxpayers be forced to participate?
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is funded in part by George Soros, a left-wing billionaire who gives generously to more than 180 different media-related organizations. As the Media Research Center reported in 2011:
Since 2003, Soros has spent more than $52 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news — journalism schools, investigative journalism, and even industry organizations. And that number is an understatement.
It’s not just journalism, of course. Believing America to be a racist, oppressive, sexist society, Soros, an atheist with a self-described messianic impulse to remake the world in his image, uses his philanthropy to facilitate social change on a grand scale. Among the goals: higher taxes and a larger welfare state, radical environmental policies, socialized medicine, amnesty, unilateral disarmament, and taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. And given the enormity of his philanthropic giving, Horowitz’s organization points out, “a strong case can be made for the claim that Soros today affects American politics and culture more profoundly than any other living person.”
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a member of the Investigative News Network (INN) — also funded by Soros — a network of 82 nonprofit newsrooms with clear liberal leanings (Mother Jones is one of INN’s newest members).
Another INN member is Oklahoma Watch, housed at the University of Oklahoma in Norman (OU is not as liberal as UW-Madison, but it’s not for lack of effort). From the Oklahoma Watch website:
Oklahoma Watch has a close partnership with the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Oklahoma Watch website was designed by faculty and students. Research and reporting efforts for the Women in Prison project also have been supplemented by class involvement through the college. Dr. Joe Foote is the dean of Gaylord College and serves on the executive committee of the Oklahoma Watch Board of Directors. Oklahoma Watch’s main offices are housed in Gaylord Hall.
Oklahoma Watch does some good reporting — some of its data-driven stories are particularly interesting and useful — but the organization’s story selection, narrative frameworks, funders, and affiliation with INN clearly place it on the left.
I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know when a conservative news organization moves into the OU journalism school.
[Cross-posted at SeeThruEdu.com]