A new website called “SavePhillyPapers.org” has launched. You can surmise its purpose. According to an email circulated by newspaper guild Executive Director Bill Ross, the site, along with an accompanying petition, is run by activist Marc Stier, and is backed by a “group of business people, labor unions, activists and citizens.” They’re asking the owners of the Daily News/Inquirer for a “fair deal” to prevent the layoffs of veteran journalists and threatened sell-off of the company’s assets.
The website greets readers with this message:
Imagine getting up in the morning and walking to your front door and there is no Inquirer or Daily News there. Or logging on to your computer to check the headlines and Philly.com comes up with an error message. That’s what we Philadelphians are facing in our immediate future because the new owners of our newspapers have threatened to “liquidate” them.
Here is the text of the petition, or “peition” as it’s spelled on the upper left-hand corner of the site (come on guys, not the best way to instill confidence in the capabilities of the Philly press):
To George Norcross, Lewis Katz, H.F. Gerry Lenfest,
–Less than nine months ago you promised to be “patient capital” who would save the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
–Today you threaten to liquidate them. Or to replace all the reporters who know and understand our city with new, much cheaper models.
–This is unacceptable. A great city needs great newspapers. You don’t make our newspapers great. The printing presses don’t do it. The mastheads don’t do. It’s experienced and knowledgeable reporters that make the Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer what they are today.
–We demand that you make a fair deal with the Newspaper Guild that protects the seniority of the reporters we know and trust. We demand that you fulfill your promise to preserve the newspapers that help make our city great.