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NYT Signals It Could Shift to Accepting Donation From Anonymous Donors

The one example Dean Baquet cites is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization. And that would create a massive transparency problem for the Times.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, said that he is not opposed to taking a check from a philanthropist to fund the paper as long as they don’t have a political axe to grind. He made the remarks during a panel at Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, on Tuesday.

“I will take a check under the right circumstances,” Baquet said about taking money from a non-profit organization.

Baquet explained the “right circumstances” would involve people who have “no political axe to grind.”

The moderator joked with Baquet that everybody has an axe to grind.

Baquet cited the partnership between The Times-Picayune and The New York Times to “explore the causes and potentially catastrophic effects of coastal erosion and sea level rise along the Louisiana coast” as an example of this.

This partnership was made possible a grant-making from the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.

As 501(c)3 SEJ is not required under law disclose the names of any contributor to the organization, and is able to accept unlimited contributions.

In short, that means there is no way for the public to know who is funding SEJ, meaning it’s entirely possible that a billionaire environmental activist like Tom Styer could very well be funding the SEJ.