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Fri Jun 14, 2019, 08:53 PM

'Journalism Matters': Pueblo Chieftain employees protest cuts and their new owner outside the

‘Journalism Matters’: Pueblo Chieftain employees protest cuts and their new owner outside the newsroom

A year ago, Denver Post journalists streamed out of their newsroom at the Adams County printing plant waving picket signs and loudly protesting their hedge-fund owner: “Hey-hey, Ho-ho, Alden Global’s got to go.”

This week, journalists two hours south at The Pueblo Chieftain, a paper owned by a different company known for layoffs, rallied outside their newsroom with signs that read “News reporters just want to have jobs” and referred to the paper’s new overlord as “#GutHouse” instead of Gatehouse. “Fired up, won’t take it no more!” employee members of the paper’s Denver News Guild union chanted as they demonstrated on their lunch break at a busy intersection outside the newspaper’s building. Recent layoffs, one protestor’s sign read, “are destroying Colorado’s oldest newspaper.”

The picket counted a few dozen demonstrators, including other local union members — some wore T-shirts reading “Union Town” (Pueblo, is indeed, one of those) — former employees, and at least one state lawmaker, Pueblo Democratic Rep. Daneya Esgar, who spoke. The message was that the newspaper’s owner should invest in journalism, pay their workers more, and knock off the layoffs.

“We’re really the first Gatehouse paper with a union that has sort of demonstrated publicly like this,” says Chieftain reporter Luke Lyons, who serves as the union chair. He adds that some properties have stipulations in old contracts that deterred mobilizing or public actions. “We’re hoping once those end that this can sort of serve as the beginning of what Alden employees did last year,” he says, “and start putting that pressure on Gatehouse on a national level and not be a single entity sort of trying to hold the company accountable.”

Read more: https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2019/06/14/pueblo-chieftain-gatehouse-protest-colorado-journalism-media/

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