Oil company Chevron Corp. is seeking to hire a business reporter who will write stories for its “newsroom,” reports Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times.
Hiltzik writes, “Chevron’s effort, like those of other big enterprises, is designed to preempt reporting it can’t fully control, because the latter is produced by independent and objective news organizations. By ‘proactively’ telling its story, as the job listing states, its aim is to muddy the waters of oil company coverage by getting its defense before the public even before critical articles appear.
“What’s insidious about this is the blurring of the line between news and propaganda, vastly in favor of propaganda. What enables it is the shrinking of the news industry as once-robust newspapers, magazines and television news divisions become ever more underfunded and unable to give influential politicians and businesses a healthy dose of scrutiny.
“The danger this poses is the undermining of journalists’ credibility just at a moment in time when the need to make politicians and business leaders accountable for their actions is imperative.”
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