Chicago Sun-Times reporters have issued a petition request asking the owners of the newspaper to open up about the circumstances that led to veteran political reporter Dave McKinney's resignation on Wednesday.
In the petition posted on the Chicago Newspaper Guild's website, the news writers say the allegations surrounding GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's reported attempt to retaliate against McKinney over the contents of an editor-approved article are troublesome. The reporters note that Rauner's previous ownership of the media company "raises ethical questions about what happens when politicians and investors interfere with news content."
The journalists are asking Sun-Times management to detail any complaints Rauner may have made about McKinney to Michael Ferro, chairman of the newspaper's parent company, and to answer any other questions the staff may have about the issue and their ability to do their jobs freely going forward.
Here's a look at the petition's request:
Mr. Michael Ferro and Mr. Timothy Knight:
We are deeply troubled by the situation leading up to Dave McKinney's resignation. It raises incredible questions about whether Sun-Times reporters risk retaliation from management after writing stories unfavorable to a politician or our company's investors.
We have basic concerns about whether we will be able to do our jobs moving forward without interference.
We want to know: did a politician or someone tied to that politician lodge a complaint with Mr. Ferro over a story? If there was indeed a breach in the firewall that is supposed to exist between owners and the newsroom, how do we know that will not reoccur? Would you or Mr. Knight address the newsroom to answers these questions and others?
Chicago Sun-Times Newsroom and supporters
To view the petition, which is open for public signatures, click here. Read more about McKinney's resignation and Rauner's business ties to Ferro here.