Articles about "Detroit Free Press"


Detroit Guild condemns police for photographer’s arrest, urges Free Press publisher ‘to take further action’

NewsGuild.org | Detroit Free Press | Fox 2 News
The Detroit Guild on Thursday sent a letter to Police Chief James Craig denouncing Free Press photographer Mandi Wright's arrest last week after filming an arrest with an iPhone.

"The Guild demands that you issue a formal apology to Wright and that you take disciplinary action against the officers responsible for this illegal conduct against a photo journalist, who was just doing her job while witnessing a police arrest on a public street," guild president Lou Mleczko wrote. He also sent a letter to Free Press publisher Paul Anger urging the organization "to take further action directed at the Detroit Police Department."

The letters come the same week the National Press Photographer's Association sent a letter to Detroit police this week saying  Wright's First Amendment rights were violated.

“In any free country the balance between actual vigilance and over-zealous enforcement is delicate,” NPPA lawyer Mickey Osterreicher wrote in the letter to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, the Freep's Gina Damron reports. “It may be understandable that law enforcement officers have a heightened sense of awareness after pursuing an armed suspect — but that is no excuse for blatantly violating a person’s First Amendment rights — as appears to be the case here.” (more...)
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M.L. Elrick leaves Detroit Free Press to join WJBK-TV

Crain's Detroit Business Poynter Veteran reporter M.L. Elrick is leaving the Detroit Free Press to become an investigative reporter at WJBK-TV2, the city’s Fox affiliate. Elrick, 44, told Crain’s Detroit Business that he’s ready for a new challenge and that the station has agreed to let him take time off in the future to work on a book about the Kwame Kilpatrick saga, which won him and Jim Schaefer the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 . Elrick told Crain’s that he still considers the Free Press to be “a great paper doing the lord’s work," but that in the end, the newspaper's work "wasn't avante-garde enough" for him. This isn't Elrick's first TV job; he worked for a year at WDIV-TV and then returned to the Free Press in 2007. (more...)
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Guild official worries today’s Free Press will look like ‘gold standard’ after buyouts

M.L. Elrick, vice chairman of the Free Press unit of the Detroit Newspaper Guild, says he's worried about the talent the paper will lose after its next round of buyouts. On Monday, management offered buyouts to 155 people at the Free Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees their joint business operations.

In an email interview, Elrick said:

While I applaud the company for finding a humane, even generous, plan to reduce costs, I dread thinking of the experience and institutional knowledge that we will lose. I am also concerned that those who remember what the Free Press once was -- a dynamic newspaper with a landmark building, bureaus all over the world, scintillating columnists and page after page stuffed with fun and fascinating stories and features -- are disappearing. We're still doing great work, despite the challenges, but I shudder to think that for every new employee, the diminished Free Press of today will be considered the gold standard against which they measure the newspaper in the future.
Elrick also wonders how the buyouts will affect diversity at the Free Press. Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, The Times-Picayune and the Philadelphia Daily News, have seen a decrease in newsroom diversity this year due to staff reductions.

"One of the great casualties of the newspaper economic crisis has been staff diversity. We used to hear about it all the time. Now? Never," Elrick said. "It is, of course, possible that folks talked about diversity when I was out of earshot, but it's definitely not like it was. It seems these days that bosses mainly care about color when it comes to inks: red, black and green."

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Detroit Free Press, News offer buyouts to staffers

Crain's Detroit Business
Buyouts were offered to 155 people at the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees their joint business operations.

Alan Lenhoff, director of project management and corporate communications with the Detroit Media Partnership, told Poynter that employees age 56 and up who have worked at the papers for 20 or more years will be eligible. The offer includes two weeks pay for each year at the paper (capped at 52 weeks) and health insurance. Some people who are eligible may not be allowed to accept the buyout, Lenhoff said, depending on how many people want to take it from each department.

Lenhoff told Poynter he expects less than half of eligible employees to accept the buyout. "It's a total win-win because we would like to reduce some expenses, and it's an excellent opportunity for people who are close to retirement to make that possible for themselves," he said by phone.

As for layoffs, Lenhoff said: "I don't think anyone in any company would tell you that layoffs are out of consideration. I'm not going to speculate on what the future might bring, but I do know that this is a good deal and we expect a lot of interest."

Staff reduction at the papers was expected. Earlier this month, the Free Press, which publishes with the Detroit News via a Joint Operating Agreement, moved into Gannett’s Community Publishing Division, which left the paper more vulnerable to cuts. In June, Detroit Free Press Publisher Paul Anger told staffers that he expected layoffs would happen. The Detroit papers are printed daily, but reduced home delivery in 2009 to three days a week. The latest circulation figures show the Free Press with some of the largest losses in daily circulation, down 6.27 percent.
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How the Detroit Free Press used Facebook to involve readers in a controversial publishing decision

It’s not uncommon for readers to object after a newspaper decides to publish or withhold sensitive information — public employee salaries, sexual abuse allegations or an underage victim’s name.

But an exchange on the Detroit Free Press’ Facebook … Read more

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