“Progressive AP” Pitching Services to Left Leaning MD Non-Profits

A Colorado based news service, which bills itself as the “progressive Associated Press” is pitching it’s services to left leaning Maryland non-profit groups.

Public News Service “…provides reporting on a wide range of social, community, and environmental issues for mainstream and alternative media that amplifies progressive voices…” PNS operates in 31 states.

PNS held a conference call with Maryland non-profit groups, hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, and SEIU to pitch it’s services.

MD Conf Call 11-09-10

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According to a PNS power point slide deck, the service places “news stories” important to the mission of it’s financial supporters in television, radio, print, and online media. PNS even provides radio stations with pre-produced audio packages for it’s stories. The cover page of the slide deck feature prominent liberals Bill Moyers, Rachel Maddow, and John Stewart.

In it’s pitch PNS features a story on how climate change affects fall allergies in Pennsylvania. The “news story” features quotes from an official from one it’s financial supporters, the National Wildlife Federation. Other PNS supporters include AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club among others.

PNS managing editor Lark Corbeil, worked for Reuters and is allegedly a member of the infamous Journolist. Corbeil founded Media in the Public Interest, a progressive organization, which helps “journalists and progressive nonprofits amplify voices of social, economic and environmental justice, leading to positive policy outcomes, and stronger, more influential progressive leaders.”

MPI offers training sessions for advocates developed by Eric Haas formerly of the Rockridge Institute. The Rockridge Institute was founded by progressive dashboard saint George Lakoff. Lakoff—hailed by Howard Dean as “one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement”—is a cognitive linguist who argued that “people think in frames, if the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off.” In other words progressives—the so-called reality based community—need not worry about facts, but merely change their language in order to win.

PNS does not disclose its donors, but MPI is funded by noted left wing funders like the Ford Foundation and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.

Maryland media outlets should be wary of PNS, it does not appear to be news service at all, rather it is a thinly veiled PR service designed to achieve progressive policy goals. But then again, the same could be said for some Maryland media outlets.

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