Inside PublicI

Published — October 15, 2015

CPI, Al Jazeera America join forces on political coverage

Introduction

The Center for Public Integrity and Al Jazeera America are teaming up to launch a new project, Buying of the President 2016.

The project will include in-depth financial profiles of the top candidates as well as investigative stories that look into the world of super PACs and political nonprofits made possible by the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The two organizations will combine the Center’s veteran, award-winning money in politics team with Al Jazeera America’s high-quality news production and multimedia storytelling capacity. They will also share stories on their websites throughout the 2016 election cycle.

“We’ve brought back a great Center brand, ‘The Buying of the President,’ to support the Center’s 2016 presidential coverage,” said Center CEO Peter Bale. “It will focus on the money behind the candidates and show what it’s bought in the past and what donors stand to gain in the future.”

Bale said the agreement with Al Jazeera America was “groundbreaking” for the Center for Public Integrity.

“It shows media companies respect and are prepared to pay for specialist content and a real partnership,” he said.

(Update, Oct. 16: “We’re pleased to partner with the Center for Public Integrity to bring greater transparency to an area of interest for many voters – the role of dark money in the Presidential election, said Kate O’Brian, President of Al Jazeera America. “This new partnership fits into Al Jazeera America’s mission of bringing audiences original, in-depth journalism that sheds new light on critical issues.”)

The partnership kicked off with a story investigating a pro-Bernie Sanders super PAC, run by a man with a history of legal and financial troubles. The group received nearly $50,000 from actor Daniel Craig. Another story featured a teen who sought to use online retail giant Amazon.com’s Associates Program to raise money to support the Democratic presidential candidate. The Center has also continued its investigation into the Chinese hackers that successfully attacked the Federal Election Commission, which was featured on the Al Jazeera website.

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