The New York Times reports that 300 newsroom employees “signed a public statement insisting that the new owners agree not to alter the news coverage to reflect their ‘private or political interests.’”
Background:The Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com, has been on sale with a primary purchasing group lead by business and political leaders from Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
Another way to put it: The centers of power that Philadelphia’s news organizations are expected to cover are buying the company that owns the newspapers and the region’s primary Web site.
During the sales process, some reporters claimed that stories about the potential new owners have gone unpublished. And the worry, of course, is that there will be editorial meddling if the sale does go through, which, the New York Times reports, is likely.
Reason for Pennsylvanians to worry? Ed Rendell, former Philadelphia mayor, Pennsylvania governor and former leader of the purchasing group dismisses the idea in comments to the Inquirer,
“You’d think this was the first time some political people owned a newspaper.”
Paul Nussbaum, reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer states, “It could change my job, I guess. I could end up as greeter at Walmart next week,” responding to news that the subject of his recent investigative reports is now part of a team that is buying the company that owns the newspaper. [Source: The Future Journalism Project]
New York Times, Philadelphia Newspapers Set to Be Sold to Local Leaders.
NPR’s morning edition ran a short piece exploring the issues and people surrounding the purchase in February 2012.