BOSTON, MA — A committee representing nearly 300 journalists and staff at the Boston Globe, the highest circulation daily newspaper in New England, has sent a letter (below) to the newspaper’s ownership and Managing Director, John Henry and Linda Pizzuti Henry, criticizing the ties between the Globe and Jones Day, a law firm that has become embroiled in election-related controversies.
Henry is also the owner of the Boston Red Sox, Roush Fenway Racing, and the Liverpool Football Club, and of the Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of those clubs, which has been reported to be in the process of merging with RedBall Acquisition Corp. as part of a potential IPO.
A number of staff at Jones Day have recently spoken out to the New York Times regarding the firm’s role in recent electoral litigation, with concern that “the main goal of the litigation seemed to be to erode public confidence in the election results.”
The Boston Globe journalists’ letter (below) comes on the heels of revelations and reports that Jones Day filed litigation challenging issues pertaining to the security and outcome of the Presidential election in Pennsylvania.
The letter from Globe journalists to John Henry, Linda Pizzuti Henry, and to top Globe executives reads in part:
“We believe you should reconsider your relationship with Jones Day, an association that has already damaged our journalists’ trust in your leadership — and which we fear may also damage our readers’ trust in the Globe at a critical moment.
As you know, the Globe has paid Jones Day significant sums for the past two years in its ongoing quest to strip away basic workplace protections from Globe journalists. How can the Globe’s political journalists be asked to continue to endure such workplace attacks from the very law firm whose actions they are now reporting on and investigating?
This continued relationship with Jones Day poses a conflict of interest and raises serious ethical concerns for our journalists that cannot be ignored.”
The letter continues:
“Over the past two years, Jones Day’s involvement with the Globe has inflicted serious damage. It has eroded trust between employees and owners, and destroyed morale among journalists at the Globe, contributing to a recent exodus of talent, at a time when our jobs are more essential to our democracy than ever before.”
Boston Globe journalists expressed dismay about what they have viewed for months as a misallocation of resources to the controversial law firm at a time when they believe those resources should be used to retain journalists and bolster journalism at the Boston Globe for the benefit of its readers and the public good.
“Instead of using their ample resources to further invest in essential, top-notch journalism, the Henrys have sent significant sums of money into the Jones Day coffers,” said Boston.com reporter Kevin Slane, one of the committee members who signed the letter. “I’m deeply disappointed that John and Linda think employing a law firm that appears to be enabling and profiting from this unprecedented attack on our democracy is an acceptable way of doing business.”
“Guild leadership has heard from many members who are deeply concerned by the Globe’s close ties to Jones Day, and management’s silence on the matter thus far is telling,” said Boston Globe reporter and Guild recording secretary Matt Rocheleau. “It’s sad that management hired a law firm with a reputation for deploying aggressive tactics to strip away basic workplace protections from journalists, and it’s even sadder that the company is continuing to stand by them.”