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Bill Gates/ Gates Foundation
How the Gates Foundation Writes the News Your Read

Bill Gates has spent $250 million buying favorable news -- that we know about

LAST AUGUST, NPR PROFILED A HARVARD-LED EXPERIMENT to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods, giving their children access to better schools and an opportunity to “break the cycle of poverty.” According to researchers cited in the article, these children could see $183,000 greater earnings over their lifetimes—a striking forecast for a housing program still in its experimental stage.
If you squint as you read the story, you’ll notice that every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project.
And if you’re really paying attention, you’ll also see the editor’s note at the end of the story, which reveals that NPR itself receives funding from Gates.
NPR’s funding from Gates “was not a factor in why or how we did the story,” reporter Pam Fessler says, adding that her reporting went beyond the voices quoted in her article. The story, nevertheless, is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees.
And that speaks to a larger trend—and ethical issue—with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. The Broad Foundation, whose philanthropic agenda includes promoting charter schools, at one point funded part of the LA Times’ reporting on education. Charles Koch has made charitable donations to journalistic institutions such as the Poynter Institute, as well as to news organizations such as the Daily Caller News Foundation, that support his conservative politics. And the Rockefeller Foundation funds Vox’s Future Perfect, a reporting project that examines the world “through the lens of effective altruism”—often looking at philanthropy.
As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations—a role that is almost certain to expand in the media downturn following the coronavirus pandemic—an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation, a leading donor to newsrooms and a frequent subject of favorable news coverage.
I recently examined nearly twenty thousand charitable grants the Gates Foundation had made through the end of June and found more than $250 million going toward journalism. Recipients included news operations like the BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublicaNational JournalThe Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial TimesThe Atlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett, Washington MonthlyLe Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting; charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, like BBC Media Action and the New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund; media companies such as Participant, whose documentary Waiting for “Superman” supports Gates’s agenda on charter schools; journalistic organizations such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Press Foundation, and the International Center for Journalists; and a variety of other groups creating news content or working on journalism, such as the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency that Gates commissioned to create a “news site” to promote the success of aid groups. In some cases, recipients say they distributed part of the funding as subgrants to other journalistic organizations—which makes it difficult to see the full picture of Gates’s funding into the fourth estate.
The foundation even helped fund a 2016 report from the American Press Institute that was used to develop guidelines on how newsrooms can maintain editorial independence from philanthropic funders. A top-level finding: “There is little evidence that funders insist on or have any editorial review.” Notably, the study’s underlying survey data showed that nearly a third of funders reported having seen at least some content they funded before publication.
Gates’s generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the world’s most visible charity.
Twenty years ago, journalists scrutinized Bill Gates’s initial foray into philanthropy as a vehicle to enrich his software company, or a PR exercise to salvage his battered reputation following Microsoft’s bruising antitrust battle with the Department of Justice.
Today, the foundation is most often the subject of soft profiles and glowing editorials describing its good works.
During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid—even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively—both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac

In the same way that the news media has given Gates an outsize voice in the pandemic, the foundation has long used its charitable giving to shape the public discourse on everything from global health to education to agriculture—a level of influence that has landed Bill Gates on Forbes’s list of the most powerful people in the world. The Gates Foundation can point to important charitable accomplishments over the past two decades—like helping drive down polio and putting new funds into fighting malaria—but even these efforts have drawn expert detractors who say that Gates may actually be introducing harm, or distracting us from more important, lifesaving public health projects.
From virtually any of Gates’s good deeds, reporters can also find problems with the foundation’s outsize power, if they choose to look. But readers don’t hear these critical voices in the news as often or as loudly as Bill and Melinda’s. News about Gates these days is often filtered through the perspectives of the many academics, nonprofits, and think tanks that Gates funds. Sometimes it is delivered to readers by newsrooms with financial ties to the foundation.
The Gates Foundation declined multiple interview requests for this story and would not provide its own accounting of how much money it has put toward journalism.
In response to questions sent via email, a spokesperson for the foundation said that a “guiding principle” of its journalism funding is “ensuring creative and editorial independence.” The spokesperson also noted that, because of financial pressures in journalism, many of the issues the foundation works on “do not get the in-depth, consistent media coverage they once did.… When well-respected media outlets have an opportunity to produce coverage of under-researched and under-reported issues, they have the power to educate the public and encourage the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies in both the public and private sectors.”
As CJR was finalizing its fact check of this article, the Gates Foundation offered a more pointed response: “Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.… The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.”
The foundation’s response also volunteered other ties it has to the news media, including “participating in dozens of conferences, such as the Perugia Journalism Festival, the Global Editors Network, or the World Conference of Science Journalism,” as well as “help[ing] build capacity through the likes of the Innovation in Development Reporting fund.”
The full scope of Gates’s giving to the news media remains unknown because the foundation only publicly discloses money awarded through charitable grants, not through contracts. In response to questions, Gates only disclosed one contract—Vox’s—but did describe how some of this contract money is spent: producing sponsored content, and occasionally funding “non-media nonprofit entities to support efforts such as journalist trainings, media convenings, and attendance at events.”
Over the years, reporters have investigated the apparent blind spots in how the news media covers the Gates Foundation, though such reflective reporting has waned in recent years.
In 2015, Vox ran an article examining the widespread uncritical journalistic coverage surrounding the foundation—coverage that comes even as many experts and scholars raise red flags. Vox didn’t cite Gates’s charitable giving to newsrooms as a contributing factor, nor did it address Bill Gates’s month-long stint as guest editor for The Verge, a Vox subsidiary, earlier that year. Still, the news outlet did raise critical questions about journalists’ tendency to cover the Gates Foundation as a dispassionate charity instead of a structure of power.
Five years earlier, in 2010, CJR published a two-part series that examined, in part, the millions of dollars going toward PBS NewsHour, which it found to reliably avoid critical reporting on Gates.
In 2011, the Seattle Times detailed concerns over the ways in which Gates Foundation funding might hamper independent reporting:
To garner attention for the issues it cares about, the foundation has invested millions in training programs for journalists. It funds research on the most effective ways to craft media messages. Gates-backed think tanks turn out media fact sheets and newspaper opinion pieces. Magazines and scientific journals get Gates money to publish research and articles. Experts coached in Gates-funded programs write columns that appear in media outlets from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, while digital portals blur the line between journalism and spin.
Two years after the story appeared, the Seattle Times accepted substantial funding from the Gates Foundation for an education reporting project.
These stories offered compelling evidence of Gates’s editorial influence, but they didn’t attempt to investigate the full scope of the foundation’s financial reach into the fourth estate. (For perspective, $250 million is the same amount that Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post.)
When Gates gives money to newsrooms, it restricts how the money is used—often for topics, like global health and education, on which the foundation works—which can help elevate its agenda in the news media.
For example, in 2015 Gates gave $383,000 to the Poynter Institute, a widely cited authority on journalism ethics (and an occasional partner of CJR’s), earmarking the funds “to improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.”
Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride said Gates’s money was passed on to media fact-checking sites, including Africa Check, and noted that she is “absolutely confident” that no bias or blind spots emerged from the work, though she acknowledged that she has not reviewed it herself.
I found sixteen examples of Africa Check examining media claims related to Gates. This body of work overwhelmingly seems to support or defend Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, which has spent billions of dollars on development efforts in Africa. The only example I found of Africa Check even remotely challenging its patron was when a foundation employee tweeted an incorrect statistic—that a child dies of malaria every 60 seconds, instead of every 108.
Africa Check says it went on to receive an additional $1.5 million from Gates in 2017 and 2019.
“Our funders or supporters have no influence over the claims we fact-check…and the conclusions we reach in our reports,” said Noko Makgato, executive director of Africa Check, in a statement to CJR. “With all fact-checks involving our funders, we include a disclosure note to inform the reader.”
Earlier this year, McBride added NPR public editor to her list of duties, as part of a contract between NPR and Poynter. Since 2000, the Gates Foundation has given NPR $17.5 million through ten charitable grants—all of them earmarked for coverage of global health and education, specific issues on which Gates works.
NPR covers the Gates Foundation extensively. By the end of 2019, a spokesperson said, NPR had mentioned the foundation more than 560 times in its reporting, including 95 times on Goats and Soda, the outlet’s “global health and development blog,” which Gates helps fund. “Funding from corporate sponsors and philanthropic donors is separate from the editorial decision-making process in NPR’s newsroom,” the spokesperson noted.
NPR does occasionally hold a critical lens to the Gates Foundation. Last September, it covered a decision by the foundation to give a humanitarian award to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, despite Modi’s dismal record on human rights and freedom of expression. (That story was widely covered by news outlets—a rare bad news cycle for Gates.)
On the same day, the foundation appeared in another NPR headline: “Gates Foundation Says World Not on Track to Meet Goal of Ending Poverty by 2030.” That story cites only two sources: the Gates Foundation and a representative from the Center for Global Development, a Gates-funded NGO. The lack of independent perspectives is hard to miss. Bill Gates is the second-richest man in the world and might reasonably be viewed as a totem of economic inequality, but NPR has transformed him into a moral authority on poverty.
Given Gates’s large funding role at NPR, one could imagine editors insisting that reporters seek out financially independent voices or include sources who can offer critical perspectives. (Many NPR stories on Gates don’t: hereherehere, here, here, here.) Likewise, NPR could seek a measure of independence from Gates by rejecting donations that are earmarked for reporting on Gates’s favored topics.
Even when NPR publishes critical reporting on Gates, it can feel scripted. In February 2018, NPR ran a story headlined “Bill Gates Addresses ‘Tough Questions’ on Poverty and Power.” The “tough questions” NPR posed in this Q&A were mostly based on a list curated by Gates himself, which he previously answered in a letter posted to his foundation’s website. With no irony at all, reporter Ari Shapiro asked, “How do you…encourage people to be frank with you, even at risk of perhaps alienating their funder?”
In the interview, Gates said that critics are voicing their concerns and the foundation is listening...............

[Peds Ansichten]
Bill Gates und das Imperial College of London
Die Entlarvung einer scheinbar wissenschaftlichen Studie als herrschaftsdienlichem Auftragswerk. Wie sieht eine ‘unabhängige’, ‘wissenschaftliche’ Studie wie die des Imperial College heute aus, in der unter anderem die Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dankend unter ‘Acknowlegdements’ genannt wird (0)? Bevor wir uns jene Studie vom Imperial College anschauen, die 3,1 Millionen vermiedene Todesfälle für 11 europäische Länder vermeldete, noch ein paar Worte zum Geleit. Für mich bedeutet wissenschaftliches Arbeiten Wissen zu schaffen, und zwar in der Tiefe und wichtiger sogar noch in der Breite. Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten, die eine Mehrheit der Bevölkerung nicht verstehen kann, sind aus meiner Sicht nicht wissenschaftlich, sondern herrschaftsschaffend...........
15. September 2020 um 10:48
Gates darf wieder einmal seine Agenda unters Volk bringen.
Bill Gates staunt über Corona-Verschwörungstheorien

(natürlich im Tagesspiegel, dass an das Project Syndicate angeschlossene Medium. Gates war Mitbegründer dieses Projektes. )
Bill ‘Messiah’ Gates Says World Has Been Set Back 25 Years in 25 Weeks, Blames It on “Pandemic”

No, Jesus-Bill. Your hysteria and virus Maoism did that.

For decades, people around the world have been getting richer and healthier.
The number of humans subsisting on less than $1.90 a day has slowly, but surely, been inching downwards year after year. Until now.
2020, and the global infectious disease outbreak that came with it, have dealt people everywhere a major blow” both to their wallets, and to their collective health. The pandemic is driving the wedge between rich and poor further apart in nearly every country in a way that hasn’t been seen in decades.
“This year is different, it’s unique,” Bill Gates said on a conference call with reporters ahead of the release of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers 2020 report. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only stopped progress, it’s pushed it backwards.”
The change is an unprecedented one in the history of the 20 year-old, R830 billion foundation. The foundation’s Goalkeepers report, established in 2017, is meant to serve as an annual look at progress around the world on benchmarks of poverty, health and wellbeing, sanitation, education, and other sustainable development goals.
“Every single one of the goals was moving in the right direction,” Gates said on the call, which replaced what’s normally a star-studded in-person event. “The pandemic has, in almost every dimension, made inequity worse.”
This year, there is almost no progress to share (apart from some improvements in smoking cessation rates worldwide).
“We have to confront the current reality with candor,” the report said. “We’ve regressed.”
Here are some of the biggest setbacks at hand:
The last time this many countries were in a recession at the same time was in 1870
The World Bank has estimated that, for the first time since 1998, poverty rates are set to go up dramatically worldwide, “as the global economy falls into recession.”
Here’s how much worse the International Monetary Fund projects the GDP downturn from the coronavirus pandemic will be, as compared to the 2008 recession:
In terms of GDP loss, “this is the worst recession since the end of World War II,” the report notes, suggesting the GDP drop is twice as great as the 2008 recession.

“The last time this many countries were in recession at once was in 1870, literally two lifetimes ago,” the report also said.
The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day, the international benchmark for extreme poverty, is climbing in lockstep with the virus’s spread.
Global poverty is increasing for the first time in 20 years

“We have 37 more million people in extreme poverty,” Gates said. “That’s after 20 years where that number’s gone down.”
The downturn isn’t limited to poor countries. In rich countries like the US, income gains had already been uneven in recent years, with the richest getting richer a lot faster than everybody else.
Now, that divide is growing sharply worse.
According to the US Census Bureau, roughly one in three Americans had trouble paying their bills in August due to the pandemic, an issue that’s disproportionately affecting Black and Latinx Americans.
25 years of progress on vaccines was just erased in 25 weeks
The pandemic has also meant many more kids have been going without doses of life-saving vaccines.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (the Gates Foundation’s data partner) 25 years of progress to get the world vaccinated against deadly diseases was just swiftly wiped out, in 25 weeks during the pandemic.
Here’s one example of how vaccine coverage has dropped to levels that haven’t been seen since the 1990s, showing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) vaccination coverage worldwide:

Tetanus, which people sometimes get from stepping on nails, is one infection that herd immunity won’t curb, because you can contract it easily from coming in contact with infected soil, dust, or manure.
That’s one reason why it’s critical that everyone has access to basic preventative shots like DTP, which halt millions of deaths every year.
Girls who left school during the pandemic may never return
Taking kids out of school during the pandemic has no doubt spared some lives, but it’s also put many students behind, and the Goalkeepers report projects that some pupils will never regain what’s been lost.
The percentage of students who’ll learn how to read, for example, is expected to take a nosedive:

Being home from school can also be dangerous, putting girls at especially higher risk of both physical and sexual abuse (as documented during the ebola outbreak in West Africa). Many may never return to the classroom post-pandemic, for various reasons, including pregnancy and lack of free time for schoolwork while quarantining at home.
To improve on all of these issues and more, “the first thing is to end the pandemic,” [Ie, MORE lockdowns.] Gates said.
One of the best ways to improve the situation quickly is creating a safe, effective vaccine that everyone can use
Coronavirus vaccine development is the one area, Gates has said, where the US deserves some applause for its coronavirus response.


(Kann der Typ eigentlich noch etwas anderes, als über seine Impfscheisse zu labern?)
Bill Gates über die Corona-Pandemie
"Es ist Wahnsinn, dass wir nicht längst weiter sind"
Er investiert enorme Summen in die Suche nach Corona-Impfstoffen, wird aber auch angegriffen. Hier stellt sich Bill Gates der Kritik, attackiert US-Präsident Trump - und sagt, wann er mit einem Ende der Pandemie rechnet. Ein Interview von Veronika Hackenbroch und Marc Pitzke
Gralshüter des Journalismus
Dass immer mehr Medien eine devote Haltung gegenüber Bill Gates einnehmen, ist kein Zufall: Der Internet- und Impf-Mogul finanziert etliche von ihnen.
16.09.2020 von Rubikons Weltredaktion
Was BILL GATES wirklich mit der Corona-Impfung vorhat (Clemens Arvay)


[Bild: cc6g3ygq.png]

30. September 2020 um 19:15
Bill Gates in der FAZ: Ganze Weltbevölkerung impfen
Bill Gates und der Spiegel – Bezahlte „Berichterstattung“ oder zu blöd, einen Taschenrechner zu benutzen?

Im Spiegel ist ein Artikel erschienen, der über eine Erklärung von Bill Gates und den Pharmakonzernen zu Corona-Impfstoffen berichtet. Wer jedoch die Erklärung selbst liest, der sieht, dass es sich Werbung für Bill Gates handelt. Dass der Spiegel sich seine „Berichterstattung“ von Bill Gates mit Millionen bezahlen lässt, ist nicht neu. Gates konnte sich mit … „Bill Gates und der Spiegel – Bezahlte „Berichterstattung“ oder zu blöd, einen Taschenrechner zu benutzen?“ weiterlesen

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