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Santa Barbara Newspaper Publisher Wins Round In Court Over Controversial Firings Of Reporters

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:01am

A federal appeals court cited the First Amendment in siding with the publisher of a South Coast newspaper over the controversial firing of eight staff members.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in favor of Ampersand Publishing, and Wendy McCaw, publisher of the Santa Barbara News Press.

The dispute started in 2006, with top editors quick the newspaper after they say McCaw tried to meddle in news coverage.
McCaw claimed editors were running the paper with their own agenda.

A number of reporters voted to form a union, but there’s been a battle with Ampersand about working conditions.

The newspaper fired eight reporters, who filed suit claiming it was because of their union efforts, as well as protests over working conditions.

However, the court overturned some National Labor Relations Board findings, and ruled that forcing the newspaper to rehire the reporters would be a violation of the publisher’s First Amendment rights.

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