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Gannett confirms it’s printing Proft’s papers

Thursday, Oct 6, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jem Bartholomew at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in the Columbia Journalism Review

Tow Center reporting shows that LGIS—as well as the Epoch Times—is currently a commercial printing client of Gannett, the nation’s largest local news publisher. […]

The [Daily Herald] owner “took million[s] of dollars in payments from LGIS over a seven-year period to publish and distribute the chain’s newspapers,” an LGIS paper wrote, which Paddock did not deny in emails to the Tow Center. Paddock canceled LGIS’s contract in September—a spokesperson said it would formalize its commercial screening process, add publishing disclaimers in sensitive cases, and strengthen the commercial/editorial separation—but defended the need to diversify revenue amid a “historic downturn” in local news. But Proft, on Twitter, didn’t seem fazed by Paddock canceling LGIS’s contract. The papers had already found a new publisher, he said.

Gannett, the nation’s largest local newspaper chain, is still printing LGIS content. LGIS “are a commercial print client,” a Gannett spokesperson said by email. The Epoch Times, which has been labeled “a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation” by the New York Times, is also a commercial client. Asked directly whether printing these papers ran counter to an online Gannett mission statement “to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation,” the spokesperson said: “We do not discuss our clients and have no further comment.”

LGIS “are a commercial print client,” a Gannett spokesperson said by email. The Epoch Times, which has been labeled “a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation” by the New York Times, is also a commercial client. Asked directly whether printing these papers ran counter to an online Gannett mission statement “to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation,” the spokesperson said: “We do not discuss our clients and have no further comment.”

* Illinois newspapers owned by Gannett

• Canton Daily Ledger
• The Journal Standard, Freeport
• The Register-Mail, Galesburg
• Star Courier, Kewanee
• Lincoln Courier
• The McDonough County Voice, Macomb
• Pekin Daily Times
• Peoria Journal Star
• Pontiac Daily Leader
• Rockford Register Star
• The State Journal-Register, Springfield
• Daily Review Atlas, Monmouth
• Du Quoin Evening Call
• Olney Daily Mail
• The Carmi Times
• The Daily Republican, Marion

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36 Comments
  1. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Who could have figured letting conglomerates buy up all the newspapers would lead to some questionable decisions?


  2. - Prenuer - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:22 pm:

    Look, in order to afford putting out quality, fact-based journalism, we have to put out poor quality, highly opinionated propaganda.


  3. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:25 pm:

    ===Asked directly whether printing these papers ran counter to an online Gannett mission statement “to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation,” the spokesperson said: “We do not discuss our clients and have no further comment.”===

    I just thought that was worth highlighting. Sums it up rather nicely I think.


  4. - up2now - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    There are all sorts of large commercial printers who, I’m sure, could handle this print job. No ties to journalism. Problem solved. I am not a reader of these opinion products (I’ll stop short of calling them newspapers) nor of Mr. Proft, but I fear we are headed down a slippery slope when we want to restrain what can be printed, who can print it and who makes the decision.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    At least those papers don’t have much reputation to lose.


  6. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:37 pm:

    It is a commercial endeavor. They are not endorsing the mailings unless you consider it an endorsement to take the money and print. I think it becomes a slippery slope to say they can’t ethically do this. If it is not screaming fire in a theater let it go. But right is trying to overturn liable laws for newspapers maybe that should happen.


  7. - Bippy Gluck - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:39 pm:

    Need to add the disinfo papers in Illinois run by Dan Proft and Brian Timpone:

    Carbondale Reporter
    Chambana Sun
    Chicago City Wire
    Cook County Record
    Cornell-Ransom Guide
    Crete Review
    DeKalb Times
    DuPage Policy Journal
    East Central Reporter
    Egyptian Review
    Galesburg Reporter
    Grundy Reporter
    Illinois Business Daily
    Illinois Valley Times
    Kane County Reporter
    Kankakee Times
    Kendall County Times
    La Harpe Guide
    Lake County Gazette
    Lansing Reporter
    Lynwood Times
    Macon Reporter
    Madison County Guide
    McHenry Times
    McLean County Times
    Metro East Sun
    Metro East Today
    North Cook News
    North Egypt News
    NW Illinois News
    Peoria Standard
    Prairie State Wire
    Quincy Reporter
    Rock Island Today
    Rockford Sun
    Salem News Wire
    Sangamon Sun
    Save Your Home Now
    SE Illinois News
    South Central Reporter
    South Cook News
    South West Illinois News
    Southern Illinois News
    West Central Reporter
    West Cook News
    West Loop Today
    Westfield Reporter
    Will County Gazette


  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    Sorry, still hung up on the Daily Herald/Paddock taking million(s) of dollars in payment from Proft in exchange for printing his fake papers.

    The only surprise with Gannett is that they charge. Figured they’d market it as “premium content” and secretly drain more money off the auto-pay subscribers.


  9. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    -“We do not discuss our clients and have no further comment.”-

    No one sketchy ever says that. /s


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    Ethics and Integrity are lost in the bean counters as the stock and trade of journalism isn’t measured in the dollars a reputation lost.

    The checks cash the same… they cash the same.


  11. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:45 pm:

    * curses profusely into comment filter *

    Huh. Isn’t this an interesting development.


  12. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:48 pm:

    ===It is a commercial endeavor===

    “But there’s good money in distributing propaganda” doesn’t sound like the best defense.

    Especially not in an age where the Right Wing settles further and further into rhetoric that seems a lot like what we might have been hearing in the Balkans 30 years ago.


  13. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:54 pm:

    ===but I fear we are headed down a slippery slope when we want to restrain what can be printed, who can print it and who makes the decision.===

    If Paddock and Gannett are knowingly printing lies and disinformation for the sake of profit, that is the slippery slope I’m more concerned about. Jeesh.


  14. - Gfalkes - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:55 pm:

    I’m betting money that the printing is being done at the journal star printing facility. They spent a mint to build it for the prior owners. No that means much I guess.


  15. - XonXoff - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    Shock.


  16. - Stormsw7706 - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:58 pm:

    Silver-lining is Gannett will ruin the fake newspaper like they do the real ones.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    ===but I fear we are headed down a slippery slope when we want to restrain what can be printed, who can print it and who makes the decision.===

    So let them print alternative facts?

    It’s like saying science books that say creation… printed by, say, the New England Journal of Medicine is merely stopping that slippery slope?

    The comedy actually writes itself.


  18. - Shytown - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 5:02 pm:

    It’s all about the money


  19. - Academic union state employee - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 5:04 pm:

    Not a dimes worth of difference between a Proft paper and the SJR aka Paywall Central. And the subscriber only stories are junk news like restaurant reviews and entertainment. While also running out Bernie Schoenberg and subsequently eliminating respectable Statehouse coverage.


  20. - vern - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 5:36 pm:

    The folks saying this is a business decision baffle me. Proft is a maliciously direct competitor with journalism. He is opposed to the existence of Gannett and Paddock’s newspapers and taking direct steps to undermine them. Working with him isn’t a good business decision. The US Mint isn’t mining crypto. Dee Snyder didn’t offer an album track to Tipper Gore.


  21. - Yeah no - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 5:38 pm:

    Those papers should run a rider at the bottom of every editorial they write on state politics stating their parent companies distribute the Proft pamphlets. If they don’t, they’re hiding a conflict that they’d be so anxious to point out if they were an elected official.


  22. - Manchester - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:03 pm:

    Color me not surprised. Once proud pillars of true journalism were taken over by Gannet and decimated. Take the State Journal Register. It contains very little real information and certainly no investigative journalism. It’s only real use would be to line the cat box. I’m not surprised in the least that Gannet would print Proft’s rags if it means income.


  23. - Roadrager - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:03 pm:

    With this infusion of Proft-Uihlein dirty money, maybe Gannett’s next round of layoffs will come after Christmas instead of before it.


  24. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:06 pm:

    - Dee Snyder didn’t offer an album track to Tipper Gore. -

    This is your second absolute banger this week by my count.


  25. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:26 pm:

    “So let them print alternative facts?”

    How benevolent of you to “let” someone print anything.

    As if the “mainstream media” have never printed “alternative facts?” If they benefit your “side” alternative facts are awesome.

    I’m not a big fan of Proft or these papers. But who prints them is no different than blaming Kinkos/Fedex if Proft made thousands of copies at their shop.

    Paddock and Gannett are in the printing business. They printed paper. That’s what they do. Glad someone thinks they have the power to “let” them decide what they can print.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:35 pm:

    ===How benevolent of you to “let” someone print anything.===

    It’s an ethics question.

    No ethics, no problem.

    :)

    ===As if the “mainstream media” have never printed “alternative facts?” If they benefit your “side” alternative facts are awesome.===

    These Proft osiers are fashioned and advertised as “alternative news”. Proft says so.

    ===blaming Kinkos/FedEx===

    Kinkos or FedEx… do they claim any journalism as their brand?

    ===Paddock and Gannett are in the printing business===

    They are in the news business, then they print their news. Keep up.

    ===Glad someone thinks they have the power to “let” them decide what they can print.===

    When you lack industry ethics to journalism, do you think they care?

    lol


  27. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:41 pm:

    Gannett claims no journalism at the printing plant. Neither did Paddock. So, no. Try to keep up. Wonder if Proft should run it by you to see who you will be kind enough to “let” print paper.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:46 pm:

    ===Gannett claims===

    Either you are in journalism and it matters… or it doesn’t

    If you lack these ethics it’s good you’re not a journalist

    ===Wonder if Proft should run it by you to see who===

    Proft looked for soulless newspapers to print his rag.

    He’s doing exactly what he wants.

    If you lack ethics to the journalism, it’s no wonder you’re fine with it.

    Alternative facts as a term was created to ease the conscience of people who tried to walk this line, but ethics stopped them.

    Create a phony term, the grifting began.


  29. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 6:59 pm:

    A printing plant is not “journalism.” If they contributed to the content you’d have a point. But they don’t, so you don’t. Maybe you just don’t know what a printing plant is. It’s hard to keep track of all the things you don’t know. A printing plant takes someone else’s copy and puts ink on paper. Printing plants don’t have “ethics.” They have ink and paper. Grifting seems another term you have no clue about. There are a lot of those in your case.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 7:08 pm:

    ===If they contributed to the content you’d have a point.===

    No.

    Like the Daily Herald learned, you can’t parse, otherwise they would’ve decided their integrity would t matter.

    It’s like you can’t grasp why the Daily Herald stopped printing… ethics. They wrote all about it in the phony letter, lol

    ===But they don’t, so you don’t. Maybe you just don’t know what a printing plant is.===

    The ethics of a company putting and giving content to print is the ethical question.

    ===Grifting seems another term you have no clue about.===

    Appeasing the likes of Uihlein got the sole purpose of cash, forgetting the ethics, that’s the grift here.

    Anything else?


  31. - DougChicago - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 8:09 pm:

    Please stop giving Prof(I)t and Timpone the attention they crave.


  32. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:17 pm:

    The Du Quoin Evening Call is no more.


  33. - Ashante - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:19 pm:

    Can we sue for unsolicited material. I even got a book today called The Governor You Do Not Know. This seems like a violation of my privacy.


  34. - Ashante - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:31 pm:

    The scary thing is that they have my home address. I didn’t chose to be an election judge after hearing the testimony on the Jan 6 hearing and Ms Ruby and her daughter. These are scary times.


  35. - Franklin - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 8:21 am:

    High quality pearl clutching


  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 8:25 am:

    ===pearl clutching===

    Lacking ethics means mocking those who understand ethics.


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