The Hightower Report

Corporate-media symbiosis

One reason corporations get away with running roughshod over us is that America's mass market media has been thoroughly corporatized – both in structure and mindset. So our daily news feed is largely a regurgitation of the corporate line.

This corporate-media symbiosis can be seen in an upcoming food conference for journalists put on by the National Press Foundation. NPF bills its meeting as an in-depth, all-day, all-expenses-paid "boot camp" for reporters on the issues of "feeding the world's growing population." Sounds great – educating reporters is a plus. But wait ... shouldn't journalists ask: Who's providing this education?

Corporations, that's who. NPF is funded by such giants as Bayer, Entergy, Ford, Honda, Lockheed Martin, and Prudential, as well as by corporate foundations, lobbyists, and PR firms. And who is the chief sponsor of NPF's boot camp on the future of food? Monsanto! In fact, NPF moved the conference to St. Louis, home of this notorious huckster of genetically altered frankenfoods, specifically so reporters could come visit its corporate labs and get "educated."

When asked about Monsanto's bad reputation, NPF chief Sandy Johnson turned oddly defensive: "In whose eyes? In your eyes?" she snapped at the reporter, before asserting that Monsanto's GMO manipulations "allowed the United States to feed the world." Hmmm ... that's a line straight out of Monsanto's propaganda, not exactly the stuff of real journalism.

Indeed, what's going on in the St. Louis boot camp is symbiosis in action: 1) the corporation funds the corporate foundation, which 2) puts a veneer of journalistic legitimacy on a conference that 3) promotes what the corporation is selling.

If much of today's reporting seems unreal, that's because it's not real and not journalism – it's spoon-fed corporate indoctrination.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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National Press Foundation, mass media, Monsanto, National Press Foundation

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