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Mysterious eco group is funding local climate journalism: ‘Advocacy dressed up as news reporting’

By Thomas Catenacci

A little-known environmental organization founded by the heir of a billion-dollar fortune has quietly organized large grants for local news outlets to boost climate change coverage and, sometimes, hire new climate reporters.

The North Carolina-based 1Earth Fund states on its website that it was founded to “fund cost-effective communication projects that can reach audiences across the political divide.” The group markets itself as a counter to “disinformation campaigns” funded by fossil fuel companies.

While little else is publicly shared about 1Earth Fund’s operations, the group adds on its site that it funds “projects like Connected Coastlines,” a nationwide climate reporting initiative in coastal states overseen by the Pulitzer Center. The project’s list of partners includes The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Seattle Times and Orlando Sentinel.