Member News (9/13/18): Taking down paywalls for Florence, Tronc’s union decision, longtime Va. newspaperman died, RTD launches a newsletter and more

By | 2018-09-13T18:21:02+00:00 September 13th, 2018|
Pilot, Daily Press, Va. Gazette take down paywalls for Florence coverage

In an effort to provide Hampton Roads citizens with up-to-date and timely news regarding Hurricane Florence, the Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press and theVirginia Gazette took down their paywalls on Tuesday so that community members can read their reporting free of charge.

Tronc chooses not to voluntarily recognize reporters’ union; requests federal agency to supervise election

Tronc has chosen not to voluntarily recognize a union formed by its reporters in Virginia.

In a letter to the Tidewater Media Guild, executive editor of the Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press, Marissa Porto, said the company does not “have enough information” to recognize the guild at the current time.

The letter went on to say: “We believe the best course for navigating this process is through the procedures and resources of the National Labor Relations Board. We are committed to working with you through the NLRB to reach a quick solution.”

The Tidewater Guild currently has signatures from 56 eligible staff members at the Daily Press and Pilot.

Leesburg Today founder, longtime Va. journalist dies

Joseph Barreto “Brett” Phillips, who founded Leesburg Today and who dedicated a significant portion of his life to Virginia newspapers, died Sunday of lung cancer. He was 76.

In 1988, Phillips founded Leesburg Today–a weekly paper he would grow from a circulation of 3,000 when founded to more than 64,000 in 2006 when he sold it.

Phillips started his career in Virginia newspapers after attending school at the Virginia Military Institute and George Mason College. He worked as a reporter at the Loudoun Times-Mirror for four years before becoming the paper’s managing editor in 1966 at the age of 25.

“There is a different and much more serious level of accountability in community journalism,” Phillips once said. “When you get something wrong in a community paper, the offended party can walk up and punch you in the nose. You feel first-hand the impact of error, and you tend to work a lot harder to get things right.”

RTD launches new newsletter

This past Sunday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch launched a new newsletter aimed at showcasing local startups in the region.

RTD’s newsletter, “Richmond Startup Spotlight,” will showcase “success stories, new ventures, patent information, advice and articles of interest to entrepreneurs,” according to a press release from the paper. There will also be columns from area business professionals that offer advice and insight to the startup community.

Virginia Gazette gets a new building

The Virginia Gazette has a new home.

Last week, the paper moved into its new office building on High Street in Williamsburg. The Gazette’s new building is single-level with an open-floor plan and mobile work stations.

Construction on the new space began last February but the staff was not able to move in until last week.