Rolling Stone Reports on NC Hog Farms, Funded by Anti-Hog Farming Organization

March 30, 2018

The Rolling Stone article “Why is China Treating North Carolina like the Developing World?” is filled with unchecked facts, false claims, and exaggerated descriptions. After trudging through inaccuracy after inaccuracy, you come to the final line which says:

This story was published in partnership with the UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship.

What does that mean? Upon some research, we found the entire story was funded by a foundation with an agenda that focuses on what they call “ending industrialized animal agriculture.”

This raises a serious question: can journalism be bought?

The UC-Berkley 11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship is supported by a grant from the Schmidt Family Foundation.

The program offers ten $10,000 fellowships to journalists with the stipulation that they “report ambitious long form print” on a subject in the food system. Fellows must also attend a workshop in June and December where editors will help them refine and shape their stories.

Workshops. Editors. All funded by an organization that’s against modern agriculture. An organization that gives grants to the likes of EWG who with Waterkeeper Alliance published “Exposing Fields of Filth: Landmark Report Maps Feces-Laden Hog and Chicken Operations in North Carolina.”

What story was published in partnership with this fellowship? The Rolling Stone piece.

Needless to say, the Rolling Stone article had an agenda. The agenda was paid for by an organization with a goal to end modern pig farming.

You expect journalists to check the facts. You expect them to present the full story. You expect them to follow some sort of code of ethics. Apparently, the bar is much too high for Rolling Stone.

Can journalism be bought? In this case, it would seem so.


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