For more than a quarter century, the Bay Journal has been a respected voice on the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort, funded in part through grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Then last spring, the journal published stories about the Trump Administration’s proposed deep cuts to EPA and how they would damage the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. In response, a political appointee in the Trump Administration decided that EPA’s $325,000 annual payments to the Bay Journal would be abruptly terminated in the second year of a six-year contract.
The Trump appointee, John Konkus, said: “the American people have major concerns with newspapers and the media,” according to a report by Greenwire. And so Konkus, an EPA communications official who also works as a media consultant for Republican political campaigns, saw no reason for EPA to keep funding the Bay Journal.
In a Senate committee hearing, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, grilled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about what appeared to be a politically motivated attack on the freedom of the press.