APT Files FEC Complaint Against Courier Newsroom

Courier Newsroom is a political group masquerading as a news outlet

Today, APT filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Courier Newsroom for failing to file as a political committee. Courier Newsroom holds itself out to be a “news outlet,” but in reality, its activities make it “more akin to a PAC than a newsroom.”


Courier Newsroom has violated the law because it is a political group masquerading as an online news organization. Political groups are required to file and report certain transactions to the FEC, but Courier Newsroom is evading these requirements. While the FEC does allow news groups to be exempt from these requirements, Courier Newsroom fails to meet this exemption since it is not a legitimate news outlet. Facebook even cracked down on its political content disguised as local news, and no longer allows it to claim the news exemption within its political ad authorization process.


Since its inception, Courier Newsroom has used its newspapers as political instruments designed to get readers to vote for Democrats. Even its founder, Tara McGowan, admits that the newspaper was established to counter the digital influence of the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee—two entities that are required to register with the FEC.


Courier Newsroom’s papers act “like a loose arm of the Democratic Party,” and therefore, it needs to register with the FEC like the other political entities it works so hard to emulate. 


Read the full complaint here.