Documents have revealed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has made over $300 million worth of donations to fund media projects.
Recipients of this cash include many of America’s most important news outlets, including CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS and The Atlantic.
Gates also sponsors a myriad of influential foreign organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom; prominent European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain); as well as big global broadcasters like Al-Jazeera.
The money is generally directed towards issues close to the Gates’ hearts. For example, a $3.6 million CNN grant went towards “reporting on gender equality with a particular focus on least developed countries, producing journalism on the everyday inequalities endured by women and girls across the world,” while the Texas Tribune received millions to “to increase public awareness and engagement of education reform issues in Texas.”
Given that Bill is one of the charter schools’ most fervent supporters, a cynic might interpret this as planting pro-corporate charter school propaganda into the media, disguised as objective news reporting. The foundation also puts up the money to directly train journalists all over the world, in the form of scholarships, courses and workshops.
Despite flying more under the radar, Gates and his companies have amassed considerable influence in media.