Media News

Firm working for Florida energy company controlled news site

July 26, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Operatives working for Florida Power & Light gained control over a Tallahassee-based news website, making editorial decisions about its content – and allowing executives at the utility to influence coverage, report Annie Martin and Mario Alejandro Ariza of the Orlando Sentinel.

Martin and Ariza report, “The site, which is published by Brian Burgess – who was previously the communications director for former Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott – claims to have ‘one of the largest and most active Facebook followings in the state’ and a dedicated following of influential lawmakers and lobbyists.

“The Capitolist purports to be a legitimate news site, saying it seeks to ‘tell more complete stories’ about businesses and policy that might be overlooked by traditional outlets.

“But leaked Matrix records, verified as authentic by the firm’s founder, Joe Perkins, show that then-Matrix CEO Jeff Pitts and FPL Vice President for Legislative Affairs Daniel Martell were at times given the opportunity to weigh in on unpublished story drafts.”

Read more here.

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