SPJVA statement on closing of Style Weekly

It’s a sad moment for journalism in Richmond to see the Style Weekly newspaper close as of the Sept. 8, 2021, edition. And it’s important to recognize the critical, award-winning and significant work done by the principled journalists, writers, designers, photojournalists, editors, interns and contributors over the 40-year span of the publication. Style was a terrific newspaper, originating great coverage of tough issues and offering fresh viewpoints and coverage of topics and issues other news outlets couldn’t or wouldn’t report on.

Style Weekly brought to readers’ attention problems and also potential solutions to make the Richmond area and Virginia a better place. We salute, in sorrow, the alt-weekly’s achievements and lament that the new owners are showing no interest in the long-term health of their properties.

The weekly’s closing follows the purchase of its owner – Tribune Publishing – by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which led to the elimination of more than 250 editorial positions at Tribune papers. Tribune had already drastically reduced its staff and coverage before its capture by Alden.

As professional journalists, we condemn the closure of Style Weekly and Alden’s other demonstrations that its purchase of Tribune was a property play — not an investment in vital communication.

We urge the public to support local journalism and a diversity of news voices. The loss of community newspapers and decimation of larger news staffs have left vast areas of our country without the timely and reliable information that Americans need to participate fully in self-government.

We call on the companies that own news outlets to invest in those organizations, which provide a vital public service.

Dina Weinstein, president, Society of Professional Journalists Virginia Pro Chapter
On behalf of the SPJVA Pro board

Published by SPJ Virginia Pro

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

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