You are hereRAW Story: US Chamber of Commerce ‘entering the news business’: report

RAW Story: US Chamber of Commerce ‘entering the news business’: report

October 24, 2010- The US Chamber of Commerce is quietly developing its own network of media outlets to push for changes to the law that would make life easier for corporations, says a report from Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab.

According to the Lab's Laura McGann, in the past few years a subsidiary of the Chamber has built a network of business-focused print and online publications across the US with the intention of pushing for tort reform -- changes to the law that would make it more difficult to sue corporations for wrongdoing, among other things.

McGann reports that in 2008, the last year for which data is publicly available, the chamber spent $41 million on campaigning against tort reform. Its publications -- which do not identify themselves as sponsored by the chamber on their sites -- have been "critical of the decisions of local courts" when it came to corporate law.

The news comes as many critics of the Chamber grow increasingly alarmed over its spending on political ads in the current election campaign. The group has said it plans to spend $75 million on the current election cycle. This year through September, the Chamber spent a record $144 million on lobbying.

A report in the New York Times last week chronicled multi-million-dollar donations to the group from such corporations as Chevron Texaco, Dow Chemical and Goldman Sachs.

Among the Chamber's publications are Legal Newsline and a number of local publications, including the Louisiana Record, the St. Louis-area Madison Record, the Southeast Texas Record and the West Virginia Record.

Legal Newsline's "about us" page makes no reference to the US Chamber or its subsidiary that funds the publications, the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.



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