Could ‘U-T’ change Manchester?Editorial Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Some members of the San Diego LGBT community are concerned about the purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune by local developer, Douglas F. Manchester. Papa Doug, as he likes to be called, has been a strong and vocal supporter of Proposition 8, as well as a major funds contributor to the anti-equality marriage initiative that stripped Californians of the right to marry someone of the same sex.
I’ve been asked if I thought the purchase would be bad for our community by giving a large megaphone to an enemy of LGBT rights. One reader wrote:
I was wondering if you have heard of many people cancelling their subscription to the Union-Tribune since it was purchased by Doug Manchester who gave so much money to fight Prop 8. I, along with many friends have cancelled our subscriptions, (mine after 40 years). I do believe he bought the paper just for the property in the valley and will eventually move the paper, tear down the building and build a hotel, What do you think? (Donn Lavigne, San Diego)
I’d be lying if I said the news of Manchester’s purchase of the Union-Tribune didn’t, at first, elicit thoughts of trepidation about the newspaper’s future as both a powerful corporate citizen and as a potential mouthpiece for intolerance. But I’m an optimist. And I believe in the basic goodness of humanity as well as the inherent righteousness of my profession. I’m hoping the sobering responsibility a news publication has to contribute to and protect the well being of its community – including that community’s LGBT members – will speak softly to Doug Manchester’s better angels. Call me naive, but I think it’s possible journalism might change the developer, instead of the developer changing the historic home of San Diego journalism.
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