Who Owns the Media You Consume?

As we’ve seen with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, these days it can be important to know who owns the media you are consuming. That is why so many found yesterday’s news alarming.

Charles and David Koch have actively promoted conservative and libertarian policies for years by pumping tens of millions of dollars into political campaigns, advocacy organizations, think tanks and University groups.

Yet the billionaire industrialists’ $650 million investment supporting Meredith Corporation’s takeover of Time Inc, the magazine giant behind titles like Time, Fortune, People, and Sports Illustrated, was characterized by a Koch spokesman on Sunday night as a “passive” one. And Meredith said in a release that Koch Equity Development — the Koch brothers’ private equity arm involved in the deal — “will not have a seat” on its board and “will have no influence” on editorial or managerial operations.

Reports of the Koch brothers role, or lack thereof, have been met with skepticism from journalists, media watchers and Koch chroniclers.

People like the Murdochs, the Kochs, and the Mercers aren’t really interested in journalism as much as they are in combining the goals of making money while promoting their own narrow ideology. In other words, rather than providing us with news, they offer propaganda.

If you’d like to know who owns the publication you are currently reading, go grab a mirror…it’s you. The Washington Monthly is a nonprofit organization that is governed by a board of directors and funded partly by private contributions. As you know, we are currently in the midst of our holiday fundraising drive. Today is very special because we are part of a growing movement known as Giving Tuesday.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

I hope that each and every one of you will spend some time on this Giving Tuesday thinking about your own holiday and end-of-year giving. For a limited time, your contribution to the Washington Monthly will be doubled, thanks to our generous supporters at the Democracy Fund, the Knight Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. That’s why this is a great time to invest in the publication that was listed by the New York Times as the premier policy-oriented magazine. Your gift of $10, $20, $30, $50, $100, $1000 will be matched, dollar for dollar.

Keep in mind that the Washington Monthly will never be owned by the likes of the Murdochs, Kochs, or Mercers. It always has been and will remain a partnership between readers and writers. We couldn’t do it without you. So thanks for your support!

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.