The Nevada Policy Research Institute controls the Review-Journal?

Victor Joecks

Who knew? No one in the NPRI office did (I asked around), but fortunately the liberal group ProgressNow is letting the world – including us – know all about it.

No need for reporters when you have NPRI

The Nevada Policy Research Institute appears to have a direct line into the Review-Journal’s newsroom. The non-profit institute, which promotes “free market” principles in core areas of education and fiscal policy, gets the bulk of its media hits in the Review-Journal.

There’s certainly value to providing information and NPRI’s perspective to news sources. Local media outlets can certainly tap NPRI’s reports and analysts for this perspective. But it appears the Review-Journal has grown dependent on NPRI as a source.

And that’s where the fine line between having a source for analysis and having a source that controls the news can easily be eroded.

Maybe the folks at ProgressNow could let us know the number for this special, “direct” line into the RJ’s newsroom. Here we’ve been using the numbers from the RJ’s contact page this whole time.

Fun and chuckles aside, it’s worth pointing out some of the many factual errors from the story about NPRI (besides the obvious one about us controlling the RJ, I mean). First, the story gets details about our funding wrong. It goes on to claim, falsely, that we hold “most” of our events at the Venetian (we typically hold one event there each year – that’s nowhere near “most”). Also, contrary to what the story states, Bill Weidner, an NPRI board member, no longer works for Sheldon Adelson, and President Bush never spoke at a fundraising event for NPRI.

Also, the story gets the details about NPRI’s media coverage completely wrong. Our website features sections titled “In the News” and “NPRI in Print,” where we list just a sampling of the hundreds of media hits (print, TV, radio and online) we receive. So when ProgressNow claims that we get the “bulk” of our media hits from the RJ, that assessment is based on a tiny sampling of our actual media coverage – just those we’ve chosen to post to the site. To illustrate: Often times, radio interviews or radio news stories that feature the Institute don’t lend themselves to web posting, so they’re left off. But they are still a part of our media coverage.

So no, NPRI hasn’t taken over the Review-Journal. But we’re more than happy to take ProgressNow’s assessment of things as a sign that we’re doing a great job of getting our information out.