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Fox News: Foundations plan to pay news media to cover radical UN agenda

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The United Nations Foundation created by billionaire Ted Turner, along with a branch of media giant Thomson Reuters, is starting to train a squadron of journalists and subsidize media content in 33 countries—including the U.S. and Britain--in a planned $6 million effort to popularize the bulky and sweeping U.N.-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals, prior to a global U.N. summit this September. where U.N. organizers hope they will be endorsed by world leaders.

The unprecedented media push is formally intended to start on May 25 but is already underway. It is intended to help breathe some new life into a sprawling U.N. effort--supported by, among others, the Obama administration--to create a global social and environmental agenda for the next 15 years.

It is taking place in parallel with an equally strong but unrelated media cheerleading push by supporters of strong climate change action to help set in stone a new global greenhouse gas emissions treaty at a Paris summit in December.

A junior partner in the U.N. Foundation media training and subsidy effort is a not-for-profit organization known as the Jynwel Charitable Foundation Limited, whose co-director is a flamboyant Malaysian financial named Jho Low. Jynwel, a Low family creation, also recently plunked down $25 million to take over a sputtering U.N. humanitarian news agency known as IRIN and sharpen its message.

The training and subsidy effort “comes at a time when people want to know what it will take to eradicate extreme poverty and tackle the big questions related to sustainability,” Kathy Calvin, CEO of the U.N. Foundation, told Fox News. “If our work helps encourage the media to dive deeper into these issues, we are achieving something that is core to our mission but also a public good worthy of 2015's moment in history.”

This is an important year or a robust decision on what the world and the U.N. will do in the next 15 years,” added Aaron Sherinian, the Foundation's chief communications and marketing officer. “We thought we would do well to connect as many people to the conversation as possible.”


The new goals, known as the SDGs, have been under formal discussion in various U.N. fora for the past year. They consist of 17 major goals and 169 related targets and amount to a broad-based socialist and/or progressive agenda that by 2030 promises to end poverty and all forms of malnutrition everywhere, “attain healthy lives for all,” “reduce income equality within and between countries,” and “promote sustainable production and consumption,” among many other things.


The goals are the centerpiece of what the U.N. calls the “post-2015 development process” They are a grab-bag of environmental and social development measures that are too sprawling in scope and too open-ended to be effective, or apparently even to be widely understood.

So far as the new training and subsidy initiative is concerned, however, the problem is seen less in terms of problematic content and more in terms of popularizing the message by refocusing and re-educating the media—as well as helping to pay some of them for delivering the new intellectual freight.

“Very often the problem of the UN is that the speeches long, full of acronyms, and the jargon is difficult to understand,” Monique Villa, head of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, told Fox News. “Making the jargon of the U.N. understandable is quite important.”

Under the plan, Villa's foundation, Thomson Reuters' non-profit arm, will carry out the training under contract from U.N. Foundation...


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