National

Liberal PR Firm Backs HuffPo Journalism Project

Media

A prominent public relations firm that works for liberal causes is supporting a special project by the Huffington Post to raise awareness about events in Ferguson, Missouri. In the aftermath of nationally televised protests in Ferguson, the Huffington Post is raising money for “The Ferguson Fellowship,” a project aimed at underwriting a local journalist who will continue to write about the police and race relations in and around St. Louis County.

FitzGibbon Media is a public relations and media strategy firm with a client list that reads like a who’s who list of far leftwing groups and causes. At least three times in August, the firm posted to their website about events in Ferguson. Two of the posts touted the efforts of FitzGibbon clients, Color of Change and Hands Up United, to communicate their perspective in the media coverage surrounding the protests.

Huffington Post, in conjunction with the crowd-funded reporting website Beacon Reader, touts “The Ferguson Fellowship” as a chance to offer in-depth reporting even after national media outlets turn their attention to other topics. “As other national media outlets slowly withdraw from Ferguson, Missouri, The Huffington Post plans to stay and cover Michael Brown’s story as it continues to unfold,” the online media outlet explains.

According to the project’s website, just over $40,000 – the target goal – has been raised to fund a local freelance journalists work in Ferguson.

Ryan Grim, the D.C. bureau chief for Huffington Post, praised the project as a chance to collaborate between readers who crowd-fund the effort and a national media outlet interested in setting itself apart. “The support from readers is just tremendously appreciated,” he explained.

One of the donors to the project is FitzGibbon Media. A tweet from Huffington Post Politics in late August thanked the media firm and a few others for their support of the journalism project.

Two of the top consultants at FitzGibbon Media, Trevor FitzGibbon and Molly Haigh, are members of Gamechanger Salon, a secretive network of leftwing activists, public relations experts, and journalists. Two of the journalists who are members of Gamechanger Salon are Ryan Grim of Huffington Post and Amanda Terkel, who is the politics managing editor for the Huffington Post.

In sum: A liberal public relations firm, FitzGibbon Media, is helping fund a journalist dedicated to reporting on a topic of great interest to its clients. The Huffington Post is providing that journalist with a platform and assistance, and two of the top political reporters at the Huffington Post are members of a secretive network that also includes two FitzGibbon Media strategists in its membership.

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