The Associated Press (AP), one of the United States’ leading news services, is reportedly receiving funding from numerous left-wing foundations, according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon.
Among the contributors is The Ida B. Wells Society, co-founded by Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the “1619 Project.” The society has partnered with Steven Spielberg’s Hearthland Foundation to promote “more inclusive storytelling” at the AP.
This influx of funding from politically active groups may challenge the AP’s ability to deflect allegations of political bias. Last year, media bias tracking group AllSides altered its rating for the AP from “center” to “leans left,” citing increased “word choice bias” and “bias by omission of views” in its coverage.
The AP has also received funding from nonprofits to cover race and climate change issues. For instance, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation bankrolls the AP’s “democracy journalism initiative,” which focuses on the intersection of race and voting. This foundation also supports Stacey Abrams’s New Georgia Project and left-wing activist group Take Back the Court.
Despite revenue from subscriptions, the AP relies on donors to subsidize coverage of divisive political topics. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation donated $500,000 in 2022 to the AP’s “democracy journalism initiative.” Similarly, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation contributed $2.5 million to the AP’s climate and education reporting verticals and provided an additional $400,000 to its democracy journalism initiative.
The Rockefeller Foundation awarded the AP $750,000 in 2021 for a climate change initiative aimed at increasing reporting on renewable electricity in underserved communities worldwide. The Outrider Foundation donated to help the AP enhance its coverage of climate change and nuclear weapons.
The Public Welfare Foundation granted the AP $200,000 this year for investigative reporting on crime issues. The foundation supports organizations advocating for reduced penalties for various crimes in Washington, D.C.
Nicole Meir, a spokeswoman for the AP, insisted that the organization maintains complete control over content produced through its philanthropic partnerships and that no funder has any influence over AP journalism. However, the extent of funding from left-leaning foundations raises questions about potential bias in the AP’s reporting.