Documents obtained by Alan Macleod at a the MintPress News suggest that Bill Gates has given hundreds of millions of dollars to select media outlets across the globe.
The information, Macleod stated in his report on the matter, was obtained through a review of over 30,000 individual grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's website database.
What are the details?
Beneficiaries on the list include CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS, the Atlantic, New York Public Radio, and more.
"The Gates Foundation money going toward media programs has been split up into a number of sections, presented in descending numerical order, and includes a link to the relevant grant on the organization's website," Macleod wrote in the Monday report.
The top three awards given directly to media outlets include $24.6 million to NPR, $12.9 million to the U.K.'s Guardian, and $10.8 million to Seattle, Washington-based Cascade Public Media, which owns local station KCTS-TV.
Other direct awards include those bestowed on the Conversation, Germany's Der Spiegel, Education Week, NBCUniversal Media, France's Le Monde, the BBC, CNN, the Education Post, the Financial Times, the Texas Tribune, Al-Jazeera, and more.
Macleod added, "The money is generally directed towards issues close to the Gates hearts. For example, the $3.6 million CNN grant went towards 'report[ing] on gender equality with a focus on least developed countries, producing journalism on the everyday inequalities endured by women and girls across the world.'"
The Texas Tribune, Macleod reported, received millions of dollars in order to "increase public awareness and engagement of education reform issues in Texas."
"Given that [Gates] is one of ... charter schools' most fervent supporters, a cynic might interpret this as planting pro-corporate charter school propaganda into the media, disguised as objective reporting," Macleod quipped.
You can view the full lists with the accompanying links here.
Macleod noted that the list does not take into account sub-grants, which are monies given by recipients to media across the globe.
"While the Gates Foundation fosters an air of openness about itself, there is actually precious little public information about what happens to the money from each grant, save for a short, one- or two-sentence description written by the foundation itself on the website," he continued. "Only donations to press organizations themselves or projects that could be identified from the information on the Gates Foundation's website as media campaigns were counted, meaning that thousands of grants having some media element do not appear in this list."
Macleod pointed out that the foundation's partnership with media empire ViacomCBS is the perfect illustration.
ViacomCBS, which controls programming for CBS News, Nickelodeon, BET, and more, was reportedly a Gates Foundation beneficiary in exchange for "[inserting] information and PSAs into its programming and that Gates had intervened to change storylines in popular shows like ER and Law & Order SVU."
"However, when checking BMGF's grants database, 'Viacom' and 'CBS' are nowhere to be found, the likely grant in question (totaling over $6 million) merely describing the project as a 'public engagement campaign aimed at improving high school graduation rates and postsecondary completion rates specifically aimed at parents and students,' meaning that it was not counted in the official total," Macleod explained.
Macleod pointed out that while most media coverage of the Gates Foundation's donations are painted in an altruistic light, there are "inherent flaws" with the giving, including the idea that such massive donations permit influential billionaires to help "set the public agenda," which in turn provides them carte blanche over what society as a whole consumes.
MintPress contacted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for comment on its reporting, but did not receive a statement in time for publication.