The newsroom of the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader voted 13-0 on Friday to join the United Media Guild. Bargaining on a first contract there will begin shortly.
We welcome this outstanding group of journalists to the UMG. They have continued doing their very best to cover the Ozarks despite enduring round after round of cost cuts at this profitable newspaper.
Springfield is just one more community that has suffered due to the corporate consolidation of the news-gathering business. The News-Leader’s owner, Gannett, recently merged with New Media Investment Group in a move that triggered massive layoffs across both companies.
The new company, which took the Gannett name, must maximize cash flow to pay big dividends and pay off the $1.8 billion in debt it created to make the deal. Meanwhile on the ground, journalists at the News-Leader and other newspapers are fighting to maintain comprehensive coverage of their community.