AP Quietly Reveals Donation From Foreign Group That Trains Journalists as Climate Change ‘Activists’

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January 2, 2024

The Associated Press’s latest foreign donor wants to transform journalists into "community activists on climate change." The AP doesn’t seem interested in publicizing that.

The KR Foundation, a Danish nonprofit that seeks the "rapid phase-out of fossil fuels," gave the equivalent of $300,000, to the Associated Press in December 2022, according to the charity’s annual report. Though the AP says it is committed to the "highest practicable degree of transparency" regarding its backers, the news outlet added the KR Foundation to its list of current philanthropic supporters only this month, according to a Washington Free Beacon review of the AP website.

It’s the latest left-wing charity to fund the Associated Press, which says it is read by four billion people each day. Philanthropies that support packing the Supreme Court, defunding the police, and other left-wing initiatives have contributed millions of dollars to the AP in recent years, the Free Beacon reported.

The KR Foundation sees media outlets as prime targets to push its climate agenda. It funds media outlets to "significantly" influence "the media narrative around climate policy." Its grant to the Associated Press, which extends through December 2024, is to be used for the wire service’s Global Scholars Network.

While the AP says it maintains editorial independence from its deep-pocketed donors, its climate reporting reflects many of the KR Foundation’s core beliefs. A recent AP story about the United Nations' annual climate conference praised negotiators who sought a "phase-out of fossil fuels" in order to save "a planet in peril" that is "dangerously warming." An article last month asked: "How did humans get to the brink of crashing climate?"

Major charitable organizations—the Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and others—last year began funding the AP’s "sweeping climate journalism initiative" to "infuse climate coverage in all aspects" of the outlet’s reporting.

The AP is one of dozens of organizations the KR Foundation supports as part of its "coordinated effort to phase out fossil fuels." Its initiatives include a public pressure campaign to "get U.S. banks out of fossil fuels." KR Foundation wants to block new oil and gas drilling projects, and has called for "some existing [oil and gas] infrastructure … to be retired early."

The KR Foundation awarded the equivalent of more than $488,000 to Children’s Radio Foundation in 2018 to train radio journalists in Africa "as community activists on climate change."

The foundation backs a ban on oil company advertisements in Australia and the Netherlands, and aims to shape the "influence industry" to mount public pressure on major organizations to cut ties with fossil fuels companies. It also funds Law Students for Climate Accountability, a California-based group that pressures law firms "to phase out fossil fuel representation."

The AP has come under scrutiny of late for its liberal slant. AllSides, which tracks media bias, last year changed its rating for the AP from "center" to "leans left," because of bias in the stories it chooses to cover. The AP recently barred its reporters from referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization. The AP, which once shared office space with Hamas in Gaza, came under fire in December for calling Israel’s response to Hamas’s invasion "among the most destructive" military campaigns "in recent history."

The AP and KR Foundation did not respond to requests for comment.