Springfield is a great city. It deserves a great newspaper. And the journalists working at the State Journal-Register are working hard to maintain quality journalism, despite massive cutbacks to newsroom staffing.
GateHouse Media and its parent company, New Media Investment Group, are using the newspaper like an ATM. The newspaper’s positive cash flow is going to pay stock dividends — mostly to a handful of Wall Street investors — and fund more acquisitions that the company can bleed for cash.
Meanwhile many journalists have gone more than eight years without a raise. Through their union, the United Media Guild, they are trying to negotiate a fair contract that encourages the retention of veteran reporters, photographers and editors who know this community and region well.
The company has maintained a hard negotiating line at the table and engaged in unfair labor practices against the union.
Thousands of area residents have signed supported cards, sent e-mails to GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis, signed our on-line petition, visited our booth at the Illinois State Fair and seen our members hand-billing public events.
You have heard our commercials on local radio stations and seen news reports of our labor fight. We appreciate your support.
But the work is not done. The years-long battle for a fair contract continues. Readers and advertisers should ask SJ-R management why it refuses to reward journalists with fair contract.
Publisher Clarissa Williams can be reached at (217) 788-1326.