If you're worried about the future of newspapers and journalism -- or the future of our democracy without them -- you might want to click over to a recent commentary and call to action by John McManus of gradethenews.org.
In his commentary, McManus writes about the recent threat to San Jose and 32 other cities across America posed by a wealthy Knight Ridder investor's move to force the newspaper chain's sale to increase profits.
Double digit returns apparently aren't good enough for Bruce S. Sherman, CEO and chief investment officer of Private Capital Management (PCM), who stands to reap a personal payout of up to $300 million by selling out the Merc and other papers in the Knight Ridder chain. And since, as McManus notes, PCM is also the largest shareholder in six other U.S. newspaper companies...well, you can see the writing on the wall if this goes through.
Does it make you angry that one greedy profiteer is in a position to ruin the daily news for newspaper readers nationwide? (And that's not counting the audiences of the radio/ TV/cable broadcasters who rip 'n read, or base their stories on what appears in print.)
Wish you could do something about it? Well, here's a letter of protest (and a promise of boycott), drafted by McManus, that you can send to Mr. Sherman. Or, in case you'd rather e-mail him, his address is BSherman@Private-cap.com.
You might also consider sending a letter to the editor at the Mercury News...while you still can.