Courant Guild launches Save Our Courant campaign
The journalists of the Hartford Courant have launched a campaign to bring ownership of the paper back to the local community.
We seek a better future for our paper than one under Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that has systematically dismantled local newspapers across the country.
Through our campaign, which we launched Monday, we are seeking local investors who value the critical role our newspaper has in the community and the essential coverage we provide. Save the Courant will run parallel to identical campaigns at other unionized Tribune Publishing newspapers.
"Only the smallest part of The Courant's history belongs to stockholders and hedge funds, and if we come together, we can get back to a better way," said Rebecca Lurye, chair of the Hartford Courant Guild. "We need owners who will put the public service of journalism first and the needs of our democracy ahead of a desire for profit."
The Courant has seen its ability to cover our community decline year after year under Tribune Publishing ownership. The company's executives continue to fill the wallets of stockholders and grow their own golden parachutes while scores of veteran journalists are laid off or bought out, prioritizing corporate payouts over community coverage.
Now, with a takeover by Alden Global Capital imminent (a move Tribune welcomed by providing two seats on the board to Alden appointees) Courant journalists fear even more cuts are in our future.
Alden has a well-documented history of buying newspapers, loading them with debt, slashing staff and selling off assets, extracting profits while the papers are left to bleed out. Control under Alden puts The Courant's ability to tell important stories gravely at risk.
We will be better served by not-for-profit owners who share our vision of serving our communities with a vibrant newspaper. We are building a future in which profits are reinvested back into the newsroom, instead of handed out to shareholders.
The Save the Courant campaign comes as we continue to cover a global pandemic and a civil rights movement, a time where the public’s need for fact-based, accountability journalism has never been more relevant or important — and at a time where the paper’s survival is at risk.
We will fight to find new investors for our paper. It’s too important not to.