Soros-Funded Solidarity Journalism Initiative at Public University Trains Social Justice Reporters
As if the mainstream media were not leftist enough, a nationally ranked public university has launched a race-focused journalism center that trains future reporters to abandon objectivity for social justice in news coverage. It is called the Solidarity Journalism Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin and leftwing billionaire George Soros is among those funding it. The new enterprise is part of the school’s Center for Media Engagement and it aims to help journalists, journalism educators, and journalism students improve coverage of marginalized communities. “Solidarity in journalism means that journalists stand for basic human dignity and against suffering, and is practiced through newsworthiness judgments, sourcing, and framing that center the lived experiences of people subjected to unjust conditions,” according to the university’s Center for Media Engagement website.
The professor who founded the Solidarity Journalism Initiative, Anita Varma, does not even pretend that the media should be objective like some well-known news outlets falsely claim to be. She asserts that “solidarity eclipses objectivity as journalism’s dominant ideal” and her goal is to educate the next generation of reporters in this ultra-leftist concept by, among other things, training them to frame articles in solidarity towards those considered to be marginalized. “Solidarity for social justice moves journalism in a better direction,” according to Varma, who claims objectivity as an aspirational ideal encourages journalists to avoid addressing what matters. “In journalism, solidarity takes the form of including the perspectives of communities who have long been shut out of representations of injustices affecting their own lives,” the center’s founder says. “Most importantly, solidarity in journalistic practice connects the dots to reveal the ways that social injustice binds people from being able to simply choose to improve their conditions.”
Future reporters at the public university’s journalism center are taught that a story is “newsworthy if it involves a community whose basic humanity is being disrespected or denied.” This includes communities experiencing exclusion, systemic violence or disenfranchisement. As an example, the journalism center writes in its Solidarity Reporting Guide that if a group lacks basic safety, shelter, healthcare or food, there is likely a solidarity story to report. Future reporters at UT Austin will also learn to refrain from using systemically offensive terms such as “inmate” or “convict” which are significantly different from referring to a person who is incarcerated. “Reporting in solidarity means paying attention to how people self-identify, the significance of the labels your story uses, and the norms in the community you’re covering,” according to the reporting guide. “Explaining word choices can be a useful and important sidebar in many solidarity stories.”
The curriculum promotes a specific formula involving the criteria to meet newsworthy decisions in solidarity. They include intragroup solidarity, which is defined as communities taking care of themselves and therefore portraying power in the community affected by social injustice, challenging dominant narratives; moral solidarity in which inhumane conditions that marginalized people cannot change or remedy on their own; civic solidarity in which people are taking action to address injustice that affects their neighbors; political solidarity where people are calling for dismantling structures that uphold social injustice, such as capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism. “Solidarity stories are rare compared to stories about politicians or celebrities, which may be intriguing for editors who are looking for distinctive angles,” according to the document outlining the criteria.
This is the type of leftwing initiative that typically gets money from Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF). Judicial Watch has reported extensively on Soros’ multi-billion-dollar radical globalist agenda which domestically promotes an open border with Mexico, fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist black separationist organizations, financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups involved in the Ferguson Missouri riots, weakening the integrity of the nation’s electoral systems, opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts and eroding 2nd Amendment protections. A few years ago Judicial Watch published an investigative report on the financial and staffing nexus between the deeply OSF and the U.S. government.