Pelosi makes move to save Chronicle

March 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) is getting involved to save her hometown newspaper -- the San Francisco Chronicle. Monday Pelosi asked the U.S. Justice Department to intervene. This, as many experts in the Bay Area ponder the plight of Northern California's largest daily paper.

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It was standing room only at the North Gate Library on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Journalists, not affiliated with the Chronicle, discussed what the collapse of the paper would mean for the readers who depend on it.

"I think we're in for a real dangerous period where there's nobody watching the store," said Lowell Bergman, an investigative reporter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is so worried about the future of her hometown paper, and others nationwide that she has written a letter to the Justice Department asking for a review of the anti-competition regulations in anti-trust laws, so that papers can be allowed to merge or consolidate operations.

You can read the full letter Pelosi wrote by clicking here

She writes: "The result will be to allow free market forces to preserve as many news sources, as many viewpoints, and as many jobs as possible."

But the dean of Cal's Graduate School of Journalism, Professor Neil Henry, says that's not the way to go.

"I don't think it's an answer particularly in an age where anybody can be a publisher, anybody in the world can be a provider of content. I don't think it makes sense to look at consolidation, an orthodox of information, as the answer," says Henry.

The Chronicle's largest union voted this weekend to accept extraordinary contract concessions that could save some jobs. Still about 150 employees will begin receiving layoff notices this week.

Speaker Pelosi says the House will soon hold a hearing to discuss the survival of the nation's newspapers and the implications for antitrust policy.

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