The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenn Topper, 202-265-1490, ext. 35  

Koch Brothers' Loss a Win for Local Communities


According to news reports, the Koch brothers are no longer pursuing a possible deal to purchase eight Tribune Company newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Free Press and its members worked alongside a diverse coalition of allies from the environmental, labor and public interest communities to stand up against the potential sale. Together, these groups collected more than 500,000 signatures and staged more than two dozen protests outside Tribune-owned properties.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"The Koch brothers' loss of interest in the Tribune Co. is a huge win for the public interest. Letting these newsrooms fall into the hands of the Kochs would have been bad for journalism and bad for democracy. Charles and David Koch have repeatedly shown disdain for journalists and the role of a strong watchdog press.

"The Kochs made it clear they wanted these papers as part of their political strategy to push anti-democratic policies that served corporate interests, not the public. But from Baltimore to Chicago and Hartford to Los Angeles, local communities stood up to the Koch brothers and sent a message that we need more quality journalism, not partisan propaganda.

"Americans everywhere have had enough of media consolidation and absentee landlords gutting our newsrooms and getting rich off the scraps. Our communities need local, adversarial journalism. The Tribune Co. should sell these papers to local owners who will invest in covering local news and serving local communities."

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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