A liberal dark money group founded a network of local news websites – and earned some plaudits for doing real journalism. Would this be a solution to the pillaged local news landscape or an exercise in partisanship?

Our investigation showed that the Courier Newsroom spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads most reminiscent of political campaigning: targeted by name to swing-state voters, the ads pushed articles critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Media watchers were critical of Courier Newsroom’s mixing of journalism and politics.