Some say the press is the fourth branch of government. It serves as a “check and a balance” to our elected and non-elected leaders and informs the public of news for the greater good. But what if that was compromised by a corporate power grab?
That's exactly what the panel “Should the Koch Brothers Own The Tribune Newspapers?” will examine next Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As we've covered on the blog before, David and Charles Koch have expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and other leading newspapers owned by the Tribune Co.
The Koch brothers also have financed conservative and libertarian causes and founded an advocacy group called Americans for Prosperity, whose stated goals are to limit government, cut taxes and eliminate regulations. Will the Koch brothers’ ownership of newspapers impact fair and objective news coverage?
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement:
It is hard to imagine how the Tribune newspapers would continue to provide quality, independent journalism to the communities they serve if they were under the control of the Koch brothers. As reported by the New York Times, the Kochs’ political strategy includes changing the way the media covers conservative causes. We need newspapers that are dedicated to providing objective and high-quality reporting, not another Fox-news style propaganda machine.
Panelists tackling this discussion are Ryan Grim, The Huffington Post Washington bureau chief; John Nichols, a Washington correspondent at The Nation; Christopher Assaf, video editor at The Baltimore Sun; and Lena Williams, retired senior writer of The New York Times.
The panel will be live-streamed on the AFL-CIO website at www.aflcio.org/Koch-Brothers, Wednesday, June 26, starting at 9am EDT/6am PDT. The Newspaper Guild-CWA is sponsoring the panel. If you're in the DC area and would like to attend in person, please RSVP by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on the AFL-CIO blog.