NEW YORK (AP) — The news organization Axios says it will return the $4.8 loan it received from the federal government as part of the Paycheck Protection Program passed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Axios says it has found a different source of funding and that the federal program has become more politicized since its passage.
It was among a handful of news organizations that sought the aid designed to help small businesses. News organizations tend to protect their independence from the government, but the pandemic has hurt the already precarious financial situations of many.
“The program has become divisive, turning into a public debate about the worthiness of specific industries or companies,” said Jim VandeHei, co-founder of the Washington-area Axios, which covers the intersection of government, business and the media.