Why Transformation Matters

transformRRSLOGOThe Transform Rockford movement has a bold vision for this region of 350,000. It sees the day when “our community is recognized as one of the very best regions to live in the U.S.” It sets high goals for creating good jobs, improving education, celebrating cultural diversity, building neighborhoods and reducing crime.

An outstanding newspaper operation can play an essential role in such a transformation. Great journalism sheds light on community successes and failures. It provides the information and analysis that fuels change.

It serves as a watchdog for consumers and citizens, monitoring the actions of businesses and governments. It provides a forum for those whose voices would otherwise not be heard.

Unfortunately, the Rockford Register Star desperately needs a transformation as well.

The content of your newspaper and its website are thin. Daily coverage may no longer include your local government, your high school team, your cause, your company, your problem.

Corporate cuts have made the Register Star a highly-profitable news gathering shell for New York-based GateHouse Media. That company has eliminated hundreds of jobs here and downsized this operation. Trusted bylines from award-winning journalists who knew and loved your community are gone.

In 2012 there were 90-plus reporters, photographers and editors; now newsroom employment hovers around 30. Those who remain haven’t had raises since 2007.

Instead of investing to cover your community, Gatehouse raided it. Profits generated in Rockford have become corporate shareholder dividend checks instead of paychecks that are spent in your community.

This is why newsroom employees at the Register Star voted to joined The Newspaper Guild. They believe in their craft, their newspaper and their community. They know this newspaper must undergo its own transformation to better serve Rockford in this critical period.

Please support members of the Newspaper Guild in their efforts to transform the Register Star.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *