Why Is New York City Planning to Sell and Shrink Its Libraries?

Defend our libraries, don't defund them. . . . . fund 'em, don't plunder 'em

Mayor Bloomberg defunded New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth, shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for wealthy real estate developers at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity. It’s an unjust and shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.

It should NOT be adopted by those we have now elected to pursue better policies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Where Will You get Your News When There Is A Mass-Dismantling of Outlets Like The Denver Post By Wall Street Vulture Capital Funds?

May 8th there was a demonstration outside the “Lipstick Building” in Manhattan, people flying 3,000 miles to participate, protesting the New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital for dismantling local newspapers such as: the Oakland Tribune, The San Jose Mercury News, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Denver Post.  The editorial board of that last paper, the Denver Post is now in open revolt against its hedge fund ownership engaged in such dismantling including with an op-ed titled “When a hedge fund tries to kill the newspapers it owns, journalists must fight back.”

The morning of the demonstration Democracy Now covered what’s in issue here:
Journalists Rise Up Against Wall Street Hedge Fund Decimating Newsrooms Across the CountryStory, May 08, 2018

Previously covered here:

Denver Post Revolts Against Its “Vulture” Hedge-Fund Owner & Demands 126-Year-Old Newspaper Be Saved, April 10, 2018
Democracy Now May 9th headlines
The next morning Democracy Now included footage (10 minutes in) and coverage of the demonstration in its opening headlines.

Investigative reporter Julie Reynolds explained on Democracy Now that when she investigated the hedge-fund owners she `shockingly’ found they:
no real experience in the media. They had invested for a little while, oddly enough, in Sinclair media, about maybe five, six years ago.
Sinclair media is a mega-conglomerate that, buying up local media outlets around the country is commanding them to adopt and sell, in a virtually absurdist fashion, an ultra-conservative, Trump supporting national narrative.

Reynolds explained that these hedge-fund owners, operating what is known on Wall Street as “vulture hedge fund” have gone on to do something a bit different; they:
basically extract all the resources and money they can from it, all the profit, sell off the real estate, get what they can and leave the bones out in the desert to dry, if anything remains at all.
Question is: Isn’t that really just about the same thing; two ways of getting to the same ultimate destination of an uninformed public, the proper, necessary and essential foundations for democracy removed?  Could that even be what is intended?  There is no window into the actual intent, no SEC filings that would provide any transparency.

(UPDATE: FAIR’s May 25, 2018 Counterspin program included a good, succinct segment covering Alden Global Capital dismantling of ,local news outlets around the country, and in it we learn about the instruction of management to reporters in acquired newspapers to, essentially, start republishing unedited corporate press releases as `news' affixing their bylines to them.)

We bring up these concerns at the same time that our libraries are being destroyed with the books we need for democracy disappearing.

So, “Where will you get your news?”  It’s a critical matter for discussion.  Come to our June 1st forum to participate in that discussion.  See:
Coming June 1st - Forum (The second) Where Do You Get Your News? What Are The Channels of Public Information Communication You Can Plug Into?

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