Chevron PR Firm Launches ‘News’ Sites in Journalism-Starved Regions
A PR firm working for Chevron is operating websites made to appear like local news outlets in regions, particularly in Texas’ Permian Basin, experiencing a rapid decline in legitimate local news outlets, Gizmodo reports.
San Francisco-based Singer Associates, which also operates a similar outlet in Richmond, California, where Chevron operates a refinery that dumps oil into San Francisco Bay and pollutes the nearby community. The websites enable Chevron to disseminate industry-friendly greenwashing into a region suffering from a dearth of reliable local news.
One-third of local Texas newspapers have closed in the last two decades, and the news vacuum Chevron’s “outlets” fill is especially pronounced in the Permian Basin, where 20% of counties have no local news sources and another 69% have only one — often just a weekly paper.
“People turn to whatever news source is in front of them,” Maddie Kriger, a consultant for Climate Power, told Gizmodo. “For a site like this, it seems like Chevron wanted a site where disinformation could be dressed up.”
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