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George Soros linked organisation wanted Alt News’ Mohammed Zubair to win Nobel Peace Prize

Organisations associated with Alt News have further links to George Soros and his Open Society Foundations where he has directly or indirectly funded them and furthered anti-India narrative.

On February 20, Alt News’ co-founder and dubious fact-checker Mohammed Zubair shared a screenshot of the Times Now report. He sarcastically wrote, “*Viewers! Exclusive information coming in here. Here’s how Mohammed Zubair is linked to George Soror*. Meanwhile Yashaswi Ji”

Zubair mocked Times Now for establishing link between Alt News and Soros. Source: Twitter

The screenshot was from a program where the media house showed that Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which runs International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), were both funded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Both PRIO and IFCN have some connection to Alt News and Mohammed Zubair. Here is the video from Times Now that was broadcasted on February 17.

‘License to Fact Check

IFCN recognised Alt News as an established media house to fact-check claims on the internet in 2019. The association between IFCN and Alt News made it possible for Alt News’ co-founders Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair to run propaganda as per their choice on the internet for one year as a signatory of IFCN. In 2020, Alt News’ signatory was not renewed at IFCN for unknown reasons. It is listed under expired signatories on Poynter’s website.

As per the Open Society Foundations’ website, Poynter received four grants. The first grant of USD 25,000 was given in 2016 for Global Fact-Checking Summit. The second grant of USD 300,000 was given in 2017 to “expand support for fact-checkers around the world by increasing reporting, writing, teaching, convening and thought leadership of the International Fact-Checking Network, a project of the Grantee’s”.

In 2018, a grant of USD 122,000 was provided “to provide salary support for the International Fact-Checking Network so the grantee can continue their charitable and educational work”. In 2019, another grant Of USD 45,000 was given to establish a pan-European fact-checking network.

PRIO’s funders’ list has Soros’s foundation all over

On the income page of PRIO, the Open Society Foundations has been mentioned four times. The last payment to PRIO was made in 2021. The amount was not mentioned on the page. PRIO got payment from OSF in 2020, 2019 and 2018. Information on previous years was not available on the website. On Open Society Foundations’ website, one grant worth USD 140,000 was found that was given in 2017.

OSINT Twitter user The Hawk Eye shed more light while commenting on Zubair in his tweet. He said, “PRIO:nobel nominator for Harsh Mander & Alt New, funded by OSF, RAND etc. IFCN: approved “non-partisan” Alt News as a signatory in 2018 is funded by OSF, Omidyar etc.” He added, “Don’t assume yourself so important to be linked with Soros. They fund an ecosystem, not individuals.”

Speaking to OpIndia, he said, “The org PRIO that nominated Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Harsh Mander’s NGO and co-founders of Alt New, Pratik Sinha and Md Zubair are supported by Open Society Foundation, RAND Corporation etc. Similarly, the international fact check Network (IFCN), a project of Poynter, approved Alt News as a signatory in 2019. The assessor was left-leaning Kanchan Kaur. A point must be noted here that being a “non-partisan” fact-check body is an important criterion. There was a huge outrage over this approval, and people questioned the credibility of such an assessment. The badge has to be renewed every year, but Alt News didn’t apply for the reason best known to them & IFCN. Now Poynter is also funded by OSF, Omidyar etc.”

“Despite hardly any possibility of contesting for a Nobel peace, such favours are done strategically to add credentials at international forums. Now they are known as “Nobel Peace Prize nominees”. Imagine! The orgs like OSF, Ford Foundation or Omidyar are policy & governance-controlling proxies. They invest in their assets to develop a favourable ecosystem,” he added.

The Human Rights Law Network link

Investigative journalist Vijay Patel also added to the information on links between Alt News and Soros’ foundation. As per his tweet, Advocate Colin Gonsalves, who represented Mohammed Zubair in the court, has a foundation named Human Rights Law Network (HRLN). Open Society Foundations funded it along with Ford Foundation and others.

Furthermore, Pratik Sinha’s mother, Nirjhari Mukul Sinha, used to run a branch of HRLN in Gujarat. She is one of the directors listed in the company details of Pravda Media Foundation, the parent company of Alt News. Alt News has not disclosed its funding and expenditures on its website for years. The links to Archived pages of the screenshots can be seen here and here.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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