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Digital First Media Workers

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POLITICS AND THE NEWS

Our surprising findings on where US newspapers owners stand, politically

Financial Times about Donald Trump new USA president
Photo / Adrian Hancu

By JULIE REYNOLDS

If you’ve ever wondered where the owners of America’s allegedly “liberal” newspapers actually fall on the political spectrum, we’ve got the info right here.

DFMworkers.org recently looked up the campaign contributions of the owners and top executives and shareholders of U.S. newspaper chains. The results surprised us, and maybe they’ll surprise you, too. Continue reading “POLITICS AND THE NEWS”

Digital First Media workers launch campaign to fight attacks on journalism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FEBRUARY 22, 2017

 

WASHINGTON — Employees at one of the nation’s biggest news organizations are launching a campaign to fight Wall Street’s ongoing attack on quality journalism — a fight likely to intensify under the new Trump administration.

Members of The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America announced today a new phase of the #NEWSMATTERS campaign at Digital First Media (DFM), the second-largest chain of newspapers and online news sites in the country.

The campaign is aimed at resisting the slash-and-burn, asset-stripping strategy of Alden Global Capital, the secretive New York hedge fund that owns DFM.

Continue reading “Digital First Media workers launch campaign to fight attacks on journalism”

THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOWNSIZING: Surviving news workers struggle under doubled workloads while communities lose coverage

 

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The Denver Post lost nearly two dozen journalists last summer

By DENNIS TAYLOR

At the Mercury, a Digital First Media newspaper based in Pottstown, Pa., the newsroom once had 16 news-side reporters. Now it has four. The paper no longer has any photographers.

This type of downshifting is taking place in newsrooms all over the country, but appears to be more extreme at DFM papers. The few reporters who remain are now struggling to cover their own beats as well as several others, a phenomenon that carries unintended consequences for both news coverage and the mental and physical health of news workers.

Continue reading “THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOWNSIZING: Surviving news workers struggle under doubled workloads while communities lose coverage”

More layoffs squeeze already strained DFM newspapers

 

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Denver news workers demonstrating to show that #NewsMatters. Photo: Patrick Traylor.

Just when it seems no further downsizing is possible, the Digital First Media newspaper chain greeted employees in the first weeks of 2017 with more layoffs, elimination of positions and continued outsourcing of jobs.

Continue reading “More layoffs squeeze already strained DFM newspapers”

THE YEAR THAT WAS

Looking north to the future of news media in 2017

Newspaper Bins in the Snow in Toronto
News racks in Toronto. Photo: iStock.com/mikeinlondon

 

 

By JULIE REYNOLDS

With accusations of media bias flung from all sectors, the rise of politically motivated ‘fake news,’ and the President-elect’s vocal disdain of reporters, 2016 was one of the most over-the-top-dramatic years we’ve seen for journalism and news workers.

For NewsGuild-CWA members at Digital First Media newspapers, the year began auspiciously. In January, a dozen units from the nation’s second-largest newspaper chain joined together in an unprecedented coalition to fight for long-sought wage increases and to launch a national #NewsMatters campaign to raise awareness about the importance of local journalism.

It’s a fight that continues as we enter a new year with nothing less than democracy at stake.

To inform and inspire as we continue our efforts, here’s a look back at some of journalism’s highlights and lowlights in 2016, plus a glance toward what 2017 promises. Continue reading “THE YEAR THAT WAS”

EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS

Innovation by newspapers shows their determination to survive, but whatever happened to reporting?

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The San Francisco Chronicle’s website promotes membership perks that include event tickets and newsroom tours.

Continue reading “EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS”

The purpose of a newspaper in the hedge fund era

Ever-higher health costs show harvesting every dollar is (still) all that matters

By Thomas Peele
BANG-East Bay

Standing in a shaded backyard in Northern California on a recent Saturday afternoon as kids in Halloween costumes flittered all about, another father and I fell into a long conversation. I knew him only vaguely – one of his daughters is in the same class as one of my twins – and we bounced around a bunch of light topics, fantasy baseball, car seats, the school our children shared.

Then a local bond measure for a commuter rail district came up. I dropped a few things I knew about the agency – including how generous its employee benefits are. The man’s wife also worked for a local government and he casually mentioned that was how his family obtained its health coverage — with no employee contribution to the cost.

Try working for a newspaper, I thought. Or a newspaper owned by a cutthroat hedge fund. Continue reading “The purpose of a newspaper in the hedge fund era”

Under confusing new plans, DFM news workers’ health costs rise

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Actions at newspapers around the country in 2016 helped win a long-sought raise for DFM workers. Photo by Patrick Traylor.

BY JULIE REYNOLDS

At Digital First Media newspapers across the country, employees are struggling with a baffling maze of new insurance plans that in the end will leave most workers spending more than ever on health care. Continue reading “Under confusing new plans, DFM news workers’ health costs rise”

Pioneer Press employees put out call for local owners

 

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Minnesota’s oldest newspaper is being eviscerated

ST. PAUL >> Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns the Pioneer Press, has cut more than 60 jobs in St. Paul — half of them from the newsroom — since it acquired a majority stake in the newspaper in 2012. That represents about 25 percent of the staff and 1,500 years of experience. Another 182 people lost their jobs when Alden outsourced the printing of the paper in 2014.

And the cuts continue — eight more people have left or will be leaving the newsroom soon in a new round of buyouts.

St. Paul is a great city. It deserves a great newspaper. The Pioneer Press has been an essential source of news and advertising in the east metro for nearly 170 years. Employees at the Pioneer Press have never stopped caring or going above-and-beyond to bring the newspaper to the people who depend on us.

Continue reading “Pioneer Press employees put out call for local owners”

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