McKinney situation update

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.

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