I agree with your analysis of the situation…but to me, that’s all obvious. I think it’s only a problem because so many people don’t understand that that’s how the media world works. To me, there’s nothing surprising about editorial boards conforming to the wishes of the advertisers who pay the bills. Otherwise, who would pay said bills?
But what’s the answer? Someone always controls the purse strings, and that person or entity influences content. Publicly funded outlets like NPR want to make sure that money keeps coming. A for-profit publication either has to keep the advertisers happy or raise subscription rates to the point that people aren’t willing to pay. Even a wealthy individual willing to fully fund a publication from their own pockets isn’t an answer, because everybody’s human, and that person would naturally not want to pay for content that contradicts their values and beliefs.
Platforms like Medium solve part of the problem, but only if writers are willing to work for free. I’m not; I’m assuming that most of your work is paid as well. So what’s the answer?