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Journalism institute tries to get 29 Conservative news websites blacklisted

Breitbart, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Washington Examiner are among those named as "unreliable,"
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Update – May 3, 2019: Poynter has now removed their biased report featuring the 29 conservative media outlets after facing backlash.

A host of conservative media outlets in the US are being targeted in an ideologically-motivated and biased report, according to an article published by NewsBusters.

The website, run by the Media Research Center (MRC), itself dedicated to exposing media bias – but that coming from the liberal side of the political divide – said the report is compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and published by the Poynter journalism institute.

The report, dubbed “UnNews,” labels hundreds of websites, many of which are high profile conservative websites and organizations, as “unreliable, biased, clickbait,” or “fake” – and divides them into these categories.

Thus Breitbart, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Washington Examiner are among those named as “unreliable,” while The Daily Signal, The Daily Wire, and Drudge Report are found to be “biased.” Others, like LifeNews, RedState, and The Blaze, are singled out for “clickbait.”

The purpose of the report is to deprive those named in it of their advertising revenue streams, NewsBusters said.

“Advertisers don’t want to support publishers that might tar their brand with hate speech, falsehoods or some kinds of political messaging,” writes the report’s author, Barrett Golding of the SPLC.

And while this organization has for a long time been a go-to source for blacklists of groups and individuals it designates as promoting hate – used by journalists, government entities and companies – its reputation has lately been in sharp decline. Not only has the SPLC been accused of anti-conservative bias in the past, but it recently lost some of its top figures in a series of scandals.

This has led to strong criticism in the mainstream media both from the left and from the right, and also to the likes of Twitter cutting ties with the organization, that was previously included in its Trust & Safety Council.

All this makes Poynter’s choice of the SPLC as a partner in compiling the list problematic, if not surprising.

But the NewsBusters report suggests that the reason might be their shared liberal bias, as the prominent journalism institute receives funding from billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar, i.e. their organizations, Open Society Foundations, and the Omidyar Network.

Poynter is also an influential player as social media and tech giants like Facebook and Google use it in their fact-checking projects.

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