Alden’s Randall Smith needs to apologize for supporting Trump

Earlier today, I wrote to Randall D. Smith, a Tribune director and the principal of Alden Global Capital,  urging him to condemn the recent assault on the U.S. Capitol by the supporters of President Donald J. Trump. I also called on him to denounce the president for inciting that assault, to condemn the attack on journalists perpetuated by the rioters and the president; and to apologize for his financial support of Trump.

Mr. Smith and his wife contributed $100,000 in 2019 to the Trump Victory Fund in August 2019.

Smith has major media interests through Alden Global Capital’s 70% ownership stake in MediaNews Group and its 31.6% stake in Tribune Publishing. Alden also owns 1.8% of Gannett Co. and 5.9% of Lee Enterprises. The hedge fund tried unsuccessfully to purchase McClatchy Co. in August 2020, with plans to cut hundreds of journalists from local news.

It’s absolutely unimaginable that Smith would continue to stand by someone who incited an insurrection and has attacked journalists and factual news for the last five years. 

Read the letter here.

Photo: Uprising against Alden in Denver, courtesy of John Leyba.

Here are resources for journalists covering the chaos

We saw a violent mob attack the U.S. Capitol last week. During the insurrection the mob also targeted journalists: they stole and destroyed equipment, threatened reporters and scrawled “Murder the Media” on a door inside the building.

In response to right-wing messages calling for attacking journalists and planning violence at state capitals, the NewsGuild and other journalism organizations are providing resources for journalists and other media professionals working during this difficult time.

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No place for harassment in our union

As the president of our union, I’m responsible for improving our culture and eliminating barriers that make it difficult for survivors of harassment to come forward. I do not equivocate when I say as a member-led democratic union we have zero tolerance for harassment in any form and that must be woven into the fabric of all that we do.

But it’s clear that — even with a steadfast commitment to create and maintain a safe workplace — our policies and our own culture must improve.

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Journalists of L.A. Times win a decisive victory for pay equity

Nov. 12, 2020 – The journalists of the Los Angeles Times have won a victory for pay equity: Owners of the Times and Tribune Publishing agreed to pay $3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that women and journalists of color were paid less than their white male counterparts. The settlement was announced Tuesday.

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Newsletter: Dallas Morning News Guild wins vote, Fort Worth goes Guild, more

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We continue to build and grow our union. On Friday, workers at @dallasnews and @AlDiaDallas voted 84 to 28 to unionize their newsrooms, in an exciting NLRB vote count over Zoom. As of today, they are one of a few unionized newsrooms in Texas. But not for long.

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Newsletter: Pittsburgh members vote to strike, job opening and more organizing

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September 2, 2020

There’s been no slowdown in Guild news during this summer’s pandemic as every week brings new challenges for us to fight and new units for us to represent.

The big news was in Pittsburgh, where the Post-Gazette newsroom voted 88-31 last month to call a strike – joining three other CWA units at the paper, who also voted in favor of striking.

Authorization for the Guild local to strike is now in the hands of the Guild Executive Council and the CWA Executive Board. President Chris Shelton, in consultation with vice presidents and local leaders, picks the strike date.

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