Special Report: Columbia University

Soros Funds Next Generation of Liberal Journalism

The Columbia Journalism Review claims that its mission is to “encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society.” But CJR frequently runs left of center articles, including repeatedly promoting the Occupy movement.

Columbia’s Journalism School publishes CJR, and provides it with facilities and staff, although the two are technically separate entities. The dean of the journalism school, Nicholas Lemann, also oversees CJR. Before becoming CJR Chair, Victor Navasky was editor of The Nation, a hard-left magazine, which has received at least $77,000 in Soros funding, as well as being a part of the Media Consortium.

On May 25, 2011, CJR called Soros “decidedly a supporter of quality journalism” and said that NPR “should not be ashamed” about its Soros funding. The Review also promoted a 2008 “Financial Times” article by Soros in which the billionaire argued for more government regulation and denied “the idea that markets are self-correcting.”

On February 19, 2013, CJR published a fairly ironic report bashing the conservative-leaning Donor’s Trust, while referring to (and agreeing with) a report which claimed that Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the liberal Tides Foundation were “markedly more transparent about where money comes from and where it goes.”

CJR has frequently written positive stories about the Occupy movement. One of these was written by a then-New York Times reporter who was dragged away by police while covering Occupiers in Zuccotti Park. He praised the Occupiers for “experimenting with new political formats, relationships and spaces.” Another very pro-Occupy story was written by a CJR reporter (and former assistant editor) encamped with the protestors.