Since its inception 14 years ago, Politico has risen to become an internet news giant. Now employing over 700 people and reaching 50 million people per month, the website and newspaper has become one of the most trusted sources of information on political issues in the United States. Key to this is its range of influential newsletters, which reach millions every day.
And yet the organization has entered into a number of very troubling partnerships that could potentially undermine the credibility and independence of its reporting. Both its defense and space newsletters, which keep readers informed and up to date on those topics, come sponsored by giant military and aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman.
To its credit, Politico is upfront about their partnership, with those sections bearing an advertisement label stating “presented by Northrop Grumman.” The question is whether readers can truly trust the outlet to accurately report and scrutinize those areas that are so critical to its chief sponsor. Does taking Northrop Grumman’s money make Politico less likely to call out the Pentagon’s enormous and bloated military budget, war crimes committed overseas, or the gross wastage of public funds?