"Chevron Owns This City’s News Site. Many Stories Aren’t Told."

"The oil and gas company-owned Richmond Standard tells mostly positive stories about the major industry that dominates this California city and its skyline."

"Open flames shot upward from four smokestacks at the Chevron refinery on the western edge of Richmond, Calif. Soon, black smoke blanketed the sky.

News spread quickly that day last November, but by word of mouth, says Denny Khamphanthong, a 29-year-old Richmond resident. "We don't know the full story, but we know that you shouldn't breathe in the air or be outside for that matter," Khamphanthong says now. "It would be nice to have an actual news outlet that would actually go out there and figure it out themselves."

The city's primary local news source, The Richmond Standard, didn't cover the flare. Nor had it reported on a 2021 Chevron refinery pipeline rupture that dumped nearly 800 gallons of diesel fuel into San Francisco Bay.

Chevron is the city's largest employer, largest taxpayer and largest polluter. Yet when it comes to writing about Chevron, The Richmond Standard consistently toes the company line.

And there's a reason for that: Chevron owns The Richmond Standard."

Miranda Green reports for Floodlight and David Folkenflik reports for NPR March 28, 2024.

Source: Floodlight/NPR, 03/29/2024