Nearly 500 people have signed a Chicago Newspaper Guild online petition asking whether political influence was the reason the Chicago Sun-Times took reporter Dave McKinney off his beat covering state politics at a critical moment during the last election, a move which ultimately led to McKinney’s resignation.
After writing a story about gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, McKinney was placed on leave and removed from his beat.
McKinney retained legal counsel and was allowed back on the job after a few days, but he quit after management allegedly interfered with the first story he wrote upon his return.
“We want to know: did a politician or someone tied to that politician lodge a complaint with [Sun-Times owner] Mr. Ferro over a story?,” the petition asked.
Signers of the petition included many current and former Sun-Times employees, other local journalists and national figures like Gloria Steinem. (See below).
A physical copy of the petition was delivered to the Sun-Times Monday.
The Guild thanks all who signed to support a newsroom free of political interference.
Meanwhile, the Guild is filing a production request, asking the company to produce any records that might show it violated the journalistic ethics provision in the contract.
scribd id=249914675 key=key-X0gdh1y0qLAgbq6BjpNu mode=scroll