This weekend, unionized reporters and photographers at the Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester’s chief local newspaper, went on strike to demand a fair contract for their essential work after far too much greedy foot-dragging during negotiations by their paper’s parent company, Gannett.

We find it disgusting that journalists struggle to receive basic wage and benefits increases while Gannett CEO Mike Reed’s compensation has risen 14%, totaling a whopping $3.9 million dollars.

Reed has raked in big bucks while running a dying company into the ground. Gannett is gutting newsrooms across the country, including our local Democrat & Chronicle, of resources and staff. The D&C only has 21 newsroom staff members, down from 86 in 2011, to report on a metropolitan area of over 1 million people — a herculean task. The few remaining reporters simply do not have enough hours in the day to cover the region.

Local journalism is essential for combating corruption, keeping malicious powerful interests at bay, and for building a shared sense of community through storytelling and awareness-raising. Continued newsroom cuts will lead to Rochesterians being left in the dark about what is happening around them — about who and what makes up their community.

Simply put, the Campus Times stands in complete solidarity with the striking reporters at the D&C.

We urge our fellow students to support them as well by avoiding reading the D&C for the strike’s duration (you can read their joint strike paper at gannettunions.org/utica), donating to their strike fund (shorturl.at/ilHP8), joining a picket or two, and letting D&C and Gannett higher-ups know that you will only value their product if they value the reporters and photographers who put their blood, sweat, and tears into making it worth a damn.

 

This editorial is published with the consent of the majority of the Editorial Board: Justin O’Connor (Editor-in-Chief), Micah Bettenhausen (Publisher), Allie Tay, Henry Litsky, Mahnoor Raza (Managing Editors), and Sherene Yang and Helena Feng (Opinions Editors). The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board make themselves available to the UR community’s ideas and concerns. Email ct_editor@u.rochester.edu.



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