Chicago City Council Passes Resolution on the Chicago Tribune’s Imminent Sale, Calling for Local Ownership and Preservation of Accurate and Investigative Reporting
Chicago City Council Passes Resolution on the Chicago Tribune's Imminent Sale, Calling for Local Ownership and Preservation of Accurate and Investigative Reporting
Chicago, IL — The Chicago City Council passed a resolution today urging The Tribune Company to sell their newspapers to local investors in the cities in which they are located.
“The sale of the Chicago Tribune affects everyone in Chicago and it is our duty as the elected officials closest to the people to do everything we can to ensure that the sale of the Tribune is in the public interest. The Trib should not be owned by a major corporation outside of Illinois that prioritizes profits and political ideologies over accurate, impartial, and non-ideological reporting” said Alderman Joe Moore (49th) who was the key sponsor of the resolution.
Common Cause has expressed concern over the potential purchase of the Tribune papers, especially by the Koch Brothers. Last month, Common Cause and partnering organizations held 12 protests across the country and presented an online petition that included over 500,000 signatures opposing the sale of the Tribune to Koch Industries, Inc. Over the past two weeks, Common Cause Illinois has received support from over 500 people advocating for the passage of this resolution by the Chicago City Council.
The biggest concern, according to Common Cause, is that the Koch Brothers represent a corporation with specific political ideologies that will give way to exceptionally biased news reporting. “The Chicago Tribune has a long history of local ownership and management, which has produced decades of high-quality news coverage, resulting in 25 Pulitzer Prizes. If we allow one purchaser such as the Koch Brothers to purchase all nine of the Tribune Company’s newspapers it could create an informational monopoly where profits outweigh journalistic integrity and open the door to ideological bias,” said Brian Gladstein of Common Cause Illinois.
Koch Industries, the second largest company in the U.S., is notorious for spending millions on anti-labor, anti-immigrant, and anti-public education ideology.
According to Mr. Gladstein, “We cannot allow the 8th largest newspaper in the country to become a tabloid for one corporation’s partisan philosophy. Common Cause applauds the Chicago City Council for passing this resolution and taking a stand against large corporate interests trying to purchase our democracy. But we cannot stop here. We ask the City of Chicago to do whatever is within their power to ensure that the Chicago Tribune and the other Tribune owned papers continue to produce accurate, non-partisan, and investigative reporting. We ask that the City of Chicago works with Common Cause to stop the control that big money has on our politics and the control that money has on our local media for the sake of every Chicagoan and every American.”
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.
Resolution Urging the Chicago Tribune Company to Sell the Chicago Tribune to Locally-Based Ownership that will Maintain the Newspaper’s Commitment to Fair, Impartial and Non-Ideological Reporting
WHEREAS, The Chicago Tribune has been a major force in Chicago journalism since its founding 1847 and currently is the eighth largest newspaper in the United States by circulation; and
WHEREAS, The Chicago Tribune has a long history of local ownership and management, which has produced decades of high-quality news coverage, resulting in 25 Pulitzer Prizes and leading to a deep understanding of Chicago’s political, business and cultural milieu; and
WHEREAS, News reports indicate that the Chicago Tribune Company is considering the sale of its seven newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun; and
WHEREAS, Newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune play a vital role informing the public through unbiased accounts of the news of the day and aggressive investigative journalism; and
WHEREAS, Local ownership helps to ensure that the newspaper will continue to exhibit a keen understanding of the political, business and cultural aspects of the City of Chicago and remain accountable to its residents, whereas outside ownership threatens the vitality and integrity of the local informational ecosystem; and
WHEREAS, Having one purchaser for all seven of the Tribune Company’s newspapers could create an informational monopoly where profits outweigh journalistic integrity and open the door to ideological bias; and
WHEREAS, The new owners of the Chicago Tribune must adhere to the paper’s historic commitment to investigative reporting, continue its focus on community news, and commit to informing the public in a fair, accurate, and non-partisan manner; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLOVED, That we, the Mayor and the members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, do hereby urge the current owners of the Chicago Tribune to sell the paper to locally-based ownership; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and the members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, encourage the new ownership to commit to fair, accurate, impartial and non-ideological reporting as a stipulation to any sale; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and the members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, urge the Chicago Tribune Company to review with great care any and all bids to purchase the newspaper with an eye toward preserving the integrity of the paper and the needs of all Chicagoans.
JOSEPH A. MOORE
Alderman, 49th Ward