The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 ext. 35

In Nationwide Day of Protest, Local Communities Oppose Sale of Tribune Co. Newspapers to the Koch Brothers


On Wednesday, May 29, as part of a national day of action, Free Press, local activists and members of the Coalition to Save Our News will join together to protest the potential sale of Tribune Co. newspapers to the Koch brothers.

Other members of the coalition include Common Cause, Courage Campaign Institute, CREDO Action, DailyKos, Greenpeace, Forecast the Facts, SEIU and Working Families.

Protests will take place in Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Harrisburg, Penn.; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Los Angeles; St. Louis; New York; and Washington, D.C. People will gather outside the offices of Tribune-owned newspapers, Tribune-owned television stations and Tribune investors to support local news and demand hard-hitting journalism, not political extremism, from the press.

For information about the protests in each city, go to:

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron, who will be speaking at the event outside the Baltimore Sun, made the following statement:

"Allowing the Koch Brothers -- with their notorious history of bankrolling climate-change denial, voter suppression and the right-wing noise machine -- to control the major daily newspaper in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and five other towns is the worst outcome imaginable for the already depleted and recently bankrupt Tribune Co. But there's much more at stake here than the political aims of a pair of billionaires or the narrow interests of a few investors. The civic health of these communities is in danger.

"All of these places -- from Allentown to Orlando, Hartford to Hampton Roads -- may be very different, but they have at least one thing in common: They need more news about their communities being dug up by more local reporters. The best hope for more local journalism and journalists is a local media owner with deep ties to that community. Having already done so much damage to these newsrooms, Tribune Co. should back away from the Koch Brothers and put these vital outlets in better hands."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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