The likely sale of Knight Ridder has prompted the Society for Professional Journalists to call for “an urgent national conversation” about how to preserve public-service journalism at the chain’s 32 daily newspapers, according to a report tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 25) on the Editor & Publisher magazine web site. The call is coming from SPJ’s Northern California Chapter, and an announcement is expected to be posted tomorrow (Thursday) on the chapter’s web site, http://www.spj.org/norcal/. SPJ’s move comes a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that chief executive Tony Ridder is promising would-be buyers that management will cut jobs, benefits and even page sizes in order to increase the company’s profits. The problem, in SPJ’s view, is that newspapers already have fatter profit margins than other companies, and further cuts will hinder newspapers from doing the kind of reporting necessary in a democracy.

SF Press Club News

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