Oil giant Chevron is dabbling in the newspaper business.
The Richmond Standard, a hyperlocal online-only newspaper in the East Bay city, is providing news and information -- from the perspective of the company, which is paying for the privilege, according to reports.
The Standard is run by a former San Francisco Examiner reporter who is now in the employ of PR agency Singer and Associates, for whom Chevron is a client.
Chevron's foray into the information business is drawing ridicule and criticism from VICEas well as Grist. There are also questions of accountability and transparency -- the site has been derided by local activists as a mere mouthpiece for the refinery, which is one of the Bay Area's biggest polluters.
However, the company and all involved are being up-front.
"Richmond residents are not going to be fooled," said Mike Aldax, the company man behind the newspaper told Grist. "They know where we're coming from."