Open Letter from Boston Globe Staff to Globe Executives

Dear John, Linda, and Globe Executives,

As you know, the staff of the Boston Globe has repeatedly raised concerns about the resources that Boston Globe officials are squandering on services from the Jones Day law firm — resources that should be invested in serving our readers and in retaining journalists, not in trying to advance policies that drive journalists away from working at the Boston Globe, and that undermine the Boston Globe as a critical institution within the region it serves.

We are troubled by the resources you have invested in Jones Day, given what we view as the firm’s repeated and chronic failure over many months to demonstrate an interest in doing what is best for our newspaper as an institution. We are also troubled that this relationship links our ownership, through Jones Day, to a federal administration that has attacked and demonized journalists, calling them “the enemy of the people.”

In recent days, those concerns grew deeper in light of revelations that Jones Day is involved in litigation that the firm’s own lawyers believe is designed “to erode public confidence in the election results” and undermine the voting process that is a cornerstone of American democracy, according to recent New York Times reports.

Given the Globe’s wide-ranging coverage of election-related news, we believe readers have a right to be aware of the relationship between the Globe and Jones Day, just as Globe readers have routinely been informed of the business relationship between Globe ownership and the Boston Red Sox.

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.

Jones Day has a well-established reputation for using aggressive worker disenfranchisement strategies and what we consider to be anti-democratic union busting tactics to undermine working conditions and protections for journalists at media companies across the country. Many such companies have seen a subsequent decline in talent and quality.

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.

Our representative committee, on behalf of nearly 300 Boston Globe employees who are members of the Boston Newspaper Guild (BNG-TNG/CWA Local 31245), implores you to respond to these concerns immediately.

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