Cleveland journalists pre-empt budget cuts and staff layoffs

In anticipation of significant cuts to its staff (and likely its daily publishing schedule as well), the intrepid Cleveland-based daily newspaper The Plain Dealer has launched an expansive multimedia campaign to raise awareness and fight back against its Jersey-based parent company, Advance Publications, Inc. "Our city," they write, "could become the largest in the country without a daily paper."

You may remember Advance as the conglomerate that stopped the presses on the celebrated New Orleans daily Times-Picayune not long ago to focus exclusively on the paper's web content. Advance has also recently altered the publishing schedules for papers in Syracuse and Harrisburg—but the Plain Dealer isn't going down without a fight. Members of Newspaper Guild Local One, aided by the Communications Workers of America, are addressing the rumored cutbacks with a massive campaign to raise awareness and garner support both local and national. 

Science writer John Mangels tells Andrew Beaujon of Poynter:

The multi-media campaign will begin Sunday with a half-page ad in The Plain Dealer, to be followed by bus and billboard ads throughout the city. TV and radio ads will appear soon. There will be mass mailings and e-mailings to elected officials, political and business leaders and other people of influence. We'll have a Facebook page with an abundance of content, a petition on Change.org, and a Twitter feed. We're also working to organize community forums where we'll discuss the future of journalism in Northeast Ohio, and the potential impact of the loss of the daily paper and much of its experienced news-gathering staff.

Please consider visiting Change.org to sign the Plain Dealer's petition here.

Visit Poynter to read Beaujon's story in full.