If you happened to click Monday on the Richmond Standard, a community news site for that Bay Area locality, you would have come upon a fairly snarky piece about 170 activists (“some from Richmond”) who took a train cross-country to participate in the People’s Climate March in New York on Sunday.

You might think this was an objective news report, unless you recognized that the Richmond Standard isn’t just another site for “community-driven news,” as it declares on its banner.

It’s entirely a creation of Chevron Corp., which operates a huge and controversial refinery in, yes, Richmond, and presumably doesn’t have the same view of climate change as the activists on the train.

This is what the news business has come to in communities where economics have wiped out traditional local newspapers. Self-interested corporations have stepped into the vacuum. You’d be hard-pressed to find a case as flagrant as Richmond’s.

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