LA Biotech Billionaire Joins the Fight Against Fake News in Purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune
While the battle against fake news remains more predominant than ever, one biotech billionaire – Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong – is shifting his focus from fighting biological cancer to fighting what he calls “the cancer of our times,” in an letter he penned in The L.A Times.
Soon-Shiong has purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune, The L.A Times, and some smaller community newspapers for approximately $500 million. The motive behind this purchase is to strengthen the traditional newspaper industry in a society where digital news and biased news has increased in frequency.
In his letter in The Times, Soon-Shiong reflects on his childhood where his work with the distribution of print newspaper The Evening Post in Port Elizabeth, South Africa helped to fund his college career. Although he hopes to revive and maintain the print industry, at the heart of the purchase, Soon-Shiong and his family bought the newspapers in order to “preserve the integrity, honesty and fairness [they’ve] observed in [their] decades as avid readers of the Los Angeles Times.” Soon-Shiong sees the news industry as an imperative institution of democracy, and one he vows to protect during the rise of biased and fake news.