Three Things You Can Do If You Believe in Justice and Journalism
Folks, it's been a hell of a few days for me, ever since my bosses at Wrapports Inc./Sun-Times Media, the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, and of my Pioneer Press newspapers, fired all 28 professional photographers, and announced it planned to replace their work with those of untrained reporters like me, using iPhones to take pictures and videos. A hell of a few days for me, but a nightmare for the 28 colleagues who were unceremoniously, unfairly and, we believe, illegally fired.
It's also a nightmare for anyone who cares about getting, reading and viewing good journalism. I know the friends I have here online understand the importance of journalism to Democracy. There's a reason we're called the Fourth Estate, and even when we fall down on the job, we're doing our best to perform a service for democracy, for this country, and for the world. I don't feel in the least hyperbolic or cheesy in saying that either.
You may not live in Chicago; you may not have to deal with the lowered value and degraded quality of Wrapports Inc./Sun-Times Media newspapers. But you understand the kind of horrific precedent this sets. So, if you'll pardon me taking the liberty, I'm going to ask you to consider helping us fight back. There are three ways you can do it:
1) Watch this interview with Pulitzer Prize winning former Sun-Times photographer John H. White. It'll give you an idea of the quality that these men have so cavalierly discarded, to our detriment, and their own.
2) Call and Email: If you believe that a news gathering organization needs high quality, professional photojournalism in order to do its duty by its readers and advertisers, please make your concerns known to Wrapports LLC CEO Tim Knight ( 312-321-3025 , firstname.lastname@example.org) and Wrapports LLC Chairman Michael Ferro (email@example.com), and to Jim Kirk, who is Chief of Editorial Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-321-2577 ). Asking them to bargain in good faith with the Guild couldn't hurt, either.
3) And finally, consider signing this petition, on behalf of the photographers by The Newspaper Guild.
The last two are pressure tactics, and pressure tactics are invaluable tools in our fight to regain the photographers' jobs, and to win a contract that will protect them, us and, by extension, the potential for good, solid local and regional journalism in the greater Chicago area. The three men I mention in 2) are extraordinarily conscious of publicity, of how they look to the public, to their shareholders and to potential investors. This is particularly true of Knight and Ferro. Please help us to put pressure on the two men who hold the potential of reversing the most disastrous decision to affect a newspaper chain in years.
Thank you for reading, and considering my plea.
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