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Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, left, addresses a group of residents in Jersey City on April 2, 2019. (YOUTUBE PHOTO)

Suarez joins move to save Jersey Journal from Newhouse

Newspaper unions seeking raises, expansions to keep newspaper alive

By David Wildstein, May 05 2019 10:02 am

One month after walking back a suggestion that residents ignore NJ.com and use her Twitter meet to get news, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez is now pushing to save the local daily newspaper, The Jersey Journal.

Suarez took to Twitter to endorse a move by the Jersey Journal Guild to call for salary increases for reporters adding more reporters and photographers, and move the newsroom back to Jersey City,  

“The residents of Hudson County need and depend on the Jersey Journal for their fair local news.  A free and robust press is one of the cornerstones of our republic,” Suarez said.

Supporters of the Jersey Journal said that their bid to improve the paper comes at “a time when top public officials like Hudson County’s prosecutor and Jersey City’s mayor are maligning local news coverage and creating government-run news, it’s more important than ever for The Jersey Journal to survive and thrive.”

In April, bashed The Jersey Journal’s digital platform.

“I’m never one to tell you to go to either NJ.com or any of those papers for actual news,” Suarez said.  “There it goes, I said it.”

Among the complaints coming from the unionized workers of the newspaper:

* “Today the paper has three full-time reporters, one photographer and the rest of the editorial staff is comprised of freelancers or part-time workers. That’s no way to run a newspaper.”

* “For more than a decade, the Newhouse family, the billionaire owners of The Jersey Journal, has refused to approve raises to most of its staff, aside from marginal increases for our lowest-paid reporters.

* “Here’s what management has done in those 10 years: gutted the staff; refused to replace the only full-time copy editor; taken the city editor off the night desk; eliminated the night reporter position; dropped almost all coverage of most of Hudson County’s 12 towns; sold its Journal Square headquarters for $2,750,000 to Jared Kushner’s family; moved its operations to a Secaucus office building that is barely in Hudson County; and put the paper’s control in the hands of three editors who live outside Hudson County.”

* “Staff members know the paper can be better, but it requires investment by our billionaire owners. They need to pay us a fair wage, offer us affordable healthcare, and hire more reporters so people of Hudson County have a daily paper with robust coverage.”

* “They need to move back to Jersey City, the paper’s longtime home, so the residents of the county’s most populous city can talk to the paper’s editors and reporters without having to take two buses to Secaucus.”

* “At a time when top public officials like Hudson County’s prosecutor and Jersey City’s mayor are maligning local news coverage and creating government-run news, it’s more important than ever for The Jersey Journal to survive and thrive.”

* “They need to realize that the people of Hudson County would pay for a newspaper if they knew the owners of The Jersey Journal believed in it the way we do. We want our owners to invest a small fraction of their billions in it.”

The Jersey Journal printed their first edition on May 2, 1867.

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