The University of Texas, through its NPR outlet KUT, is recruiting reporters to run a new project. These positions, run through UT and KUT and are being funded by liberal mega donor George Soros.
This Soros endeavor, laundered by NPR and institutions of higher education, will consist of 2 reporters in each state covering a single policy area with the stated goal of influencing public opinion and voter behavior. The timing of this project’s launch (March of 2011) and 2 year operation window smack of another political endeavor run through a mix of public private financing not unlike ACORN.
Texas’ branch of State Impact will cover energy and environmental policy and if it follows in the steps of already established Pennsylvania it will deal with fracking policy.
Nationally, the StateImpact project is being lead by two transplanted Texas journalists, Elise Hu and Matt Stiles, both formerly employed by the Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a beneficiary of George Soros, having received $150,000 from his Open Society foundation.
While Soros and Open Society are on record providing seed money for StateImpact, NPR is actively soliciting additional funding in order to grow the scope of its operation. It was during an early 2011 donation solicitation that NPR executives derided American conservatives leading to the resignation of NPR’s then CEO Vivian Schiller.
These actions also called into question continued government funding of NPR, especially during a severe economic downturn. This healthy skepticism will likely continue to be an issue as Soros finds ways to piggyback off taxpayers to advance his agenda. According to the job description posted by the University of Texas, if the StateImpact project lasts the allotted span of two years and employees maintain over 20 hrs per week, these positions will qualify for retirement benefits run by the Texas Retirement System.
This venture and the uprising of other non-profit media outlets while traditional media continues to decline is often identified as a sign that news creation needs shifting. What conservative onlookers should notice is that these liberal news outlets are failing much slower than they should, because too often our money is used to prop them up.
Update 07/08/2011 Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith emailed AgendaWise to tell us George Soros gave his organization $150,000, not the $250,000 originally posted.