on the offensive

Yesterday, members of the MoveOn.org media action group confronted the CEO of the Tribune Company, publisher of the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday, at a shareholder conference and asked why the company has turned its back on meaningful watchdog journalism. The corporation, for those of you who are new to the story, has cut over 900 staff jobs this year, despite a profit of $585.9 million in their publishing division (through September) — an increase of over $90 million from the previous year. Members of MoveOn also presented the signatures of over 45,000 readers of the Tribune’s eight papers along with a letter asking the company to explain why, in light of such profits, they would still choose to curtail their reporting capabilities… especially in a time such as the one we find ourselves in now, full of political scandal, international conflict and corporate crime. According to the coverage by Editor & Publisher, the analysts and shareholders attending the event appeared “slightly amused” by it all. (And reading that really pissed me off.)

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the United States, the kids in the Think Progress campus action group, Campus Progress, launched a new campaign to get the word out about Judge Alito, Bush’s most recent nomineee to the Supreme Court. The campaign, entitled “Alito’s America: It’s Not Our America,” seems to be pretty well done, and one hopes it helps motivate young activists to get more involved over the holidays. I haven’t made my way though all of their materials yet, but the logo’s pretty cool, and they’ve got a good video. (And what more do you really need?)… Speaking of Think Progress, if I were younger, smarter, single and motivated, I’d apply to intern for them. They’re doing great work. (“Hmmmm,” he thinks. “Maybe I should set up an internship program here at MM.com. I imagine that I’d find someone somewhere willing to live in a tent in the backyard and do all the work that I don’t want to.”)

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