Now in the News: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette And Butler Eagle Receive Injunction

November 4, 2022

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette And Butler Eagle Receive Injunction

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Butler Eagle were forced to seek a preliminary injunction against some of the labor unions representing Post-Gazette employees and some of their supporters who engaged in violent, threatening and destructive behavior.

Specifically, over the course of the past two weeks, while the Post-Gazette attempted to deliver its printed newspaper from The Butler Eagle’s facility, the unions and their supporters engaged in the following conduct:

• Throwing projectiles at vehicles, resulting in shattered windows and substantial damage.

• Puncturing tires with sharp objects.

• Prohibiting ingress and egress from The Butler Eagle’s facility by physically surrounding vehicles, striking vehicles to restrict their ability to leave the facility, standing in front of moving vehicles, attempting to lock individuals inside the facility, and laying nail boards in an attempt to rupture tires.

• Threatening to engage in arson.

• Directing threats of violence at Post-Gazette and The Butler Eagle employees and vendors.

• Following delivery operators (including to their personal residence) and threatening them with physical violence.

Notably, the majority of these unlawful actions occurred in the late evening and early morning hours in the residential area surrounding The Butler Eagle’s facility.

The Butler County Court of Common Pleas agreed with the arguments presented by the Post-Gazette and The Butler Eagle and issued a preliminary injunction. The Sheriff of Butler County and any other law enforcement officers are authorized to enforce the injunction order. View a copy of the Court’s preliminary injunction order.

The Post-Gazette respects the rights of its employees to strike and picket. However, the unions’ actions and those of some of its supporters, crossed the line and placed individuals at risk of physical harm. It is the Post-Gazette’s hope the unions and their supporters conduct themselves in a peaceful manner going forward.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has served the Pittsburgh community, its readers and advertisers as the region’s indispensable source of news, advertising and information for more than two centuries.

Gannett Is Selling Two New Mexico Newspapers

Gannett is selling two New Mexico newspapers: the Silver City Sun-News and the Deming Headlight to The Press and Independent, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The Sun-News will be incorporated into the Daily Press. The Deming Headlight will continue its Wednesday/Friday print schedule, the Journal reports. “Certainly, we have digital products and we believe, of course, that eventually the future is digital,” Nickolas Seibel, editor and publisher of the Daily Press, told the Journal. “But in small communities like Silver City and Deming, print is still a powerful, powerful medium.”

Meanwhile, in other Gannett news, the company recently placed its Phoenix, Arizona printing facility up for sale for $47.4 million, according to AZ Central. The buyer is the Silver City Independent Publishing Co., publisher of the Silver City Daily

Alabama’s Three Largest Newspapers To Stop Printing Next Year

One of the nation’s biggest publishers has decided to stop printing Alabama’s three largest newspapers and make them digital-only, the latest in a long string of local paper closures across America. Advance Publications, which owns 24 newspapers as well as the Condé Nast magazine-publishing empire, plans to announce it will end the print operations of the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and Mobile’s Press-Register in February. “The print side of our business does not make economic sense in Alabama,” said Tom Bates, president of the Alabama division of Advance Local, the group that oversees Advance’s newspapers, in an interview.

The print readership of all three papers has been shrinking rapidly, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Their expected combined circulation of about 30,000 early next year is a fraction of the 260,000 the papers boasted just a decade ago, Mr. Bates said.

Other publishers have moved to transition local papers to digital news operations, including USA Today parent Gannett Co., which in May ended print operations for several Massachusetts newspapers, opting instead to focus on their digital news operations. Since 2005, the U.S. has lost more than a fourth of its newspapers and is on track to lose a third by 2025, according to a report Northwestern University released in June this year.

Local News Providers Beat National And Social Media In Trust

U.S. readers place more trust in local news organizations than in national news outlets and social media sites, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Of the U.S. readers polled, 71% have some or a lot of trust in local news entities, vs. 61% for national news organizations and 33% in social media sites.

But it depends on their political beliefs.

Only 42% of Republicans or those who lean that way trust national organizations, while 63% have faith in local ones and 27% in social media. In contrast, 77% of Democrats/lean democrats trust national news organizations, 79% local and 38% social media. But there has been a slight shift. “While still wide, this year’s gap is slightly smaller than the 43-point gap in 2021, due to a slight uptick in trust among Republicans,” write survey authors Jacob Lied and Jeffrey Gottfried. “This large partisan divide over the past couple of years has been primarily driven by an overall lower level of trust among Republicans.”

Moreover, there are demographic differences.

For one, 50% of Gen Z readers trust news from social media sites, although 56% still prefer national organizations and 62% local ones. In comparison, 58% of millennials trust national providers, 70% local ones and 36% social sites. Readers age 65+ trust national news entities (67%). Local (79%) and only 20% social media. In addition, at 62%, women are more likely to trust national news groups, whereas 59% of men do so. It also varies by education: people with college educations or more are more inclined to trust national media (70%) and local (77%), versus those who believe in social media (30%).

Meanwhile, racial/ethnic groups varied in these ways:

• White: National (59%), local (72%) and social media (26%).

• Black: National (67%), local (74%), social media (43%).

• Hispanic: National (62%), local (70%) and social media (47%).

• Asian: National (70%), local (67%) and social media (46%).

Pew surveyed 12,147 adults from its American Trends Panel from July 18 to Aug. 21, 2022.