FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2018
Contact: Bernie Lunzer
Union Calls on Media, Civic Leaders to Join the Fray
April 26, 2018 – The NewsGuild-CWA is outraged by the firing of Dave Krieger, the editorial page editor of the Boulder Daily Camera, days after he posted a column on his blog criticizing the “predatory behavior of private equity investors” that own the paper. Krieger posted the piece after the paper refused to publish it.
“At many smaller papers, including this one, the journalistic lifeblood of communities large and small is being systematically drained by their owners’ private equity business model,” he wrote.
Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns controlling shares in the Daily Camera and close to 100 other newspapers, has been the subject of great scrutiny since April 6, when the editorial board of the Denver Post published a blistering denunciation of the company’s destructive practices, where layoffs occur at more than twice the industry rate, despite the fact that many of its newspapers enjoy double-digit profits.
The Denver Post’s columns thrust the issue into national prominence. Articles about the editorial board’s act of defiance appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and Esquire, and CBS Morning featured the story.
Through all the attention, Alden declined to comment. President Heath Freeman has steadfastly refused to justify or even attempt to explain the hedge fund’s practices, which have hollowed out newsrooms, reduced the size of its newspapers, and short-changed news coverage.
But on Wednesday, Freeman and company spoke loudly. By firing Krieger they undoubtedly hope the scrutiny will abate.
It won’t. The NewsGuild-CWA and the journalists of papers owned by Alden Global Capital and Digital First Media, the company it controls, are determined to expose the truth.
We urge news organizations and civic leaders to lend their voices in support of Dave Krieger and to denounce the strip mining of local news coverage.
Dave Krieger said it well:
“One of the more insidious aspects of this process is that these communities are generally left in the dark about what is happening because the newspaper is the community storyteller. When it fails to tell this important story about itself, it breaks trust with its readers. We have remained quiet about this for too long.”
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