Pennsylvania’s most widely-circulated newspaper showed up, without fanfare or explanation, in the mailboxes of about 1 in every 5 households in the state this April.
A 12-page tabloid with a circulation of 953,000, it has arrived every month since, with articles from the Associated Press, crosswords, recipes and useful updates on which nearby towns had the lowest gas prices. But nowhere in its pages does it disclose its true mission.
The Pennsylvania Independent is, in fact, a new sort of political-journalism hybrid becoming more popular on the left — just one part of a quiet four-state, $28 million election year effort by the liberal-leaning American Independent Foundation and partner groups aimed at swaying voters in the midterm elections.
Only the articles offer a clue of the underlying intent: A piece in the October issue described the opposition to “any gun safety measures” by “New Jersey resident” Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania. Other…
This article was written by Michael Scherer and originally published on www.washingtonpost.com