Jul 9, 2019 - Economy

Trump resistance media rising

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Left-leaning media companies designed to counter the rhetoric coming from the Trump White House and its conservative media machine are growing ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Partisan political media companies are often launched in response to whichever ideology holds power in Washington. In 2017, new left-leaning voices to counter the narrative from the Trump Administration hadn't yet taken hold. But two years into the Administration, they’re beginning to rise.

Driving the news: ACRONYM, a progressive non-profit led by veteran Democratic consultant Tara McGowan, plans to invest over $1 million into "The Dogwood," a new hyper-local digital news site that caters to residents Virginia, over the next two years, Axios has learned.

  • ACRONYM says it's investing in The Dogwood to help counter partisan rhetoric from conservative media sites and false news in general.
  • Last week, former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron announced he’s joining a new progressive website called Front Page Live, which aims to be the "Drudge Report" of the left.
  • Last year, cable news veteran David Bohrman launched "Political Voices Network," which aimed to compete with right-wing digital streaming networks like CRTV and Sinclair.
  • A progressive media company called "Versa" also launched last year to bring viral digital video news content to local constituents on Colorado, and possibly Arizona and Kentucky.

Be smart: As websites become marketing vehicles for bigger multi-media projects, progressive podcasts and streaming companies have also begun to take shape.

  • One of the most popular installations of a digital progressive media brands during the Trump Administration has been Crooked Media, the progressive podcast network made famous for its "Pod Save America" series that was founded by former Obama Administration staffers.

Yes but: The left-wing resistance wave hasn't drowned out an ever-growing right-wing media machine, especially on social media.

  • According to data from Newswhip, a social analytics company, hyper-partisan outlets on the right, have continued to perform in the top ten most engaged publishers for the first six months of the year.
  • "Each time we pull the data, we do see conservative media outlets in the top ten, particularly for Facebook engagement," says Katherine Ellis, a content strategist at NewsWhip.

Bottom line: It's taken some time for the Trump resistance media wave to set in, but now that it's here, expect these voices to grow, particularly in local constituencies, ahead of the 2020 election.

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