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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A newspaper’s editor resigns in protest after its owner freezes publication

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After an executive order from Sacramento’s mayor that spurred a public outcry, one of the largest California newspapers has canceled its publication.

On Friday, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s order to suspend publication of The Sacramento Bee indefinitely was met with opposition by the paper’s parent company, privately-owned the Sacramento Bee Company, and spurred an online protest.

On Monday, E.W. Scripps, the company that owns the paper, did not respond to questions about the decision.

Following the public outcry, Scripps asked the city of Sacramento to issue a statement regarding the decision. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told The Sacramento Bee: “This is an important issue that deserves more than a half-hearted statement from a few ‘objective observers.’ As Sacramento’s mayor, I’m concerned that this decision not only ignores the facts but also has a profound impact on free and independent local journalism.”

The order to stop publication was based on cost. Steinberg’s office estimated that shutting down the newspaper, which costs Sacramento taxpayers $7 million a year, could save $2 million. In addition, the Sacramento daily is one of the city’s most financially-viable newspapers.

The Trump administration, which targeted the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia with news organizations reporting on its activities, has been accused of using secret agencies to create a “propaganda arms race” that undermines free speech rights.

Read more at The Guardian

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