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McClatchy to decline future Report for America participation, following hedge-fund critiques

IN JUNE, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES published an op-ed by Steven Waldman—the president and co-founder of Report for America (RFA), the journalism organization that pairs early-career journalists with news outlets that have identified critical gaps in their own coverage—titled “How to stop hedge funds from wrecking local news.” In the op-ed, Waldman writes that such investors, which own “half of the daily newspaper circulation in America,” have “a track record of cutting the reporting staff of local newsrooms to increase profits”; he also suggests policy proposals, including “improving antitrust enforcement,” to “confront” the damages done to local journalism by hedge funds, “head on.” Waldman has written and spoken critically about the perils of hedge-fund ownership on numerous occasions, even as Report for America has placed journalists in newsrooms owned by hedge funds. Now, it seems that one such news organization may have taken issue with those critiques.