The power of independent journalism not beholden to corporate interests

Information is power.

On Tuesday, ThinkProgress published a list of 22 corporations that provide benefits to NRA members, enticing more people to join. We contacted each company to confirm their relationship with the NRA and ask if they planned on maintaining their ties to the organization in light of the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Then we turned over that information to our readers. And information is power.

Thousands of people began contacting these companies on social media. By Thursday afternoon, First National Bank announced it would sever its relationship with the NRA and would no longer issue the NRA Visa Card. A few hours later, the rental car company that operates Enterprise, National, and Alamo said it was also dumping the NRA. On Friday morning, Symantec (a security company that owns Norton and Lifelock), Simplisafe, MetLife and Chubb joined them.

Here’s how the Associated Press covered the story:

Both companies released their statements dozens of times on Twitter in response to calls for them to sever ties with the NRA. Some Twitter users who identified themselves as customers pledged to take their business elsewhere.

The announcements came after the progressive news website ThinkProgress listed them as companies that support the NRA. ThinkProgress noted that First National Bank offered two NRA cards, each with a $40 bonus, and touted it as “enough to reimburse your one-year NRA membership!” It also noted Enterprise “offers members an unspecified discount.”

This has become a national story that virtually every major media outlet has covered. The NRA, once thought of as untouchable, is taking some major hits.

This is the power of fearless, independent journalism that is not beholden to corporate interests. We can empower people to make change and take on some of the most powerful forces in America.

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