News & Opinion | May 8, 2018 9:35 am

Denver Post Staff Publicly Protests ‘Censorship’ by Newspaper’s Owner

Dozens of newsroom employees signed an open letter condemning Alden Global Capital.

denver post
Denver Post opinion writer Chuck Plunkett has been leading the charge against the owner of the newspaper. (Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Denver Post via Getty Images

A vast majority of the Denver Post newsroom joined together to protest what the staff have called the “censorship” of editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett. An open letter to readers on Monday was signed by 55 of the newsroom’s 70 remaining staffers, reports CNN. Digital First Media, which is controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, owns the paper and has instituted widespread layoffs of Post staff in the last few years. Currently, both the Post’s editorial page and the newsroom are at odds with the company. The paper, though profitable, has been at risk of going under. Key staffers and union officials spoke out about the ongoing cutbacks and in April, Plunkett led an effort to call attention to the paper’s struggles.

“If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell The Post to owners who will,” read one of the editorials he published. Plunkett filed a followup editorial last Thursday, but it was rejected by management. He resigned the same day. The next day, two longtime newsroom staffers announced they were departing the paper too.

The draft of his editorial said “we renew our call for Alden to reinvest in its newsrooms, or release us to better ownership,” according to CNN. Columbia Journalism Review published the editorial on Monday.

Monday’s open letter from Denver Post staff expressed outrage at the “unconscionable censorship imposed on” Plunkett. The signees explicitly backed his calls for a change.

The newsroom protest of the paper’s hedge fund owners has gained a lot of support in the state, including from the mayor of Denver and the governor of Colorado.