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Digital First Media Workers

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Newspaper chain DFM invests millions of pension dollars with its hedge-fund owner

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Financial managers at Alden Global Capital didn’t need to go far when searching for a place to park a few hundred million dollars of pension funds held on behalf of news workers at The Mercury News and Denver Post.

In fact, the fund managers decided the best choice was right in front of them: They invested the San Jose and Denver pension dollars in high-risk hedge funds controlled by their own company.

Continue reading “Newspaper chain DFM invests millions of pension dollars with its hedge-fund owner”

Standing up for journalism at DFM papers around the country

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San Jose Mercury News employees send their solidarity with guild negotiators working on a wage re-opener in Denver.

DENVER — Employees at one of the nation’s biggest news organizations have joined to fight Wall Street’s ongoing attack on quality journalism.

Digital First Media is the second-largest chain of newspapers and online news sites in the country, and 12 union-represented DFM newspapers began bargaining for a wage increase on March 9.

Continue reading “Standing up for journalism at DFM papers around the country”

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”

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