Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A call to action

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

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

You might also consider sending a letter to the editor at the Mercury News...while you still can.


Seychelle Martinez said...

Unfortunately, it seems that this metality and approach of profiteering is the major reason why the public questions (and rightly so) the intergrity of our news. How can a news intity be unbiased when its sole purpose is to gain greater sponsorship and make more money. This becomes an even more pertinent question when there is one super-media-conglomerate behind several "different" publications. The whole idea of diversity desovles and we're left with one super-agenda.

casey jay said...

This article was really disturbing, especially because it seems there may not be much we can do about what's happening. Our profit-driven society overlooks the values we used to regard in favor of greater wealth. Sherman clearly has one interest, and that is increasing his income. Selling off the Knight Ridder papers will lead to more control over reporting and content, and ultimately a steep decline in the papers' credibility. Sherman is ignoring all of these factors with his move to sell, but hopefully with enough protesting from those of us actually concerned with the news, something can be done before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that the media is still a business. I am pretty sure their writers would want to write about issues they truely they have concern for, but the editor is the boss and whatever he or she says prints.
I know a lot of us that want to be writers in the future and write about what we feel is important but in the business world money is worth more than values.
It makes me angry because the people that are in charge of the media today are taking it in a direction that will cause it to fail.
The qualit of reporting needs to improve and the media needs to gain its integrity back by printing more of the truth instead of profitable stories.
Andy Chu