By: Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia—A group of business people, labor unions, activists and citizens have formed a coalition to fight closing and cutbacks at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
The coalition has launched a website, http://savephillypapers.org and a Facebook page. It is sending emails to tens of thousands of Philadelphians asking them to sign a petition in support of the papers and the journalists and other workers who produce it. Further actions are planned.
The coalition, whose slogan is, “A Great City Needs Great Newspaper” is responding both to the threat on the part of the new owners of the papers, IGM, to “liquidate” them if their demands are not met and to IGM’s efforts to replace established journalists with younger, inexperienced, and less costly replacements.
Members of the coalition were moved to act when, even after the Newspaper Guild agreed to the requested $7.1 million reduction in compensation to its members, IGM demand the right to fire long established writers at the newspapers. “The newspapers can’t do their job without experienced journalists who have the knowledge, insight, and experience gained over many years to know where the truth is buried and to challenge anyone, whether they are political officials or star athletes” said Marc Stier, who is leading the effort. “The issue is no longer compensation for journalists and others who work at the newspapers. The issues is whether a great city is going to have great newspaper. The issue is our city and our democracy”