The cover story of this month’s "The Atlantic" magazine, “A Secretive Hedge Fund is Gutting Newspapers,” describes Heath Freeman, Trinity ’02, a well-known executive whose hedge fund purchases local newspapers, squeezes newsroom staff and hikes subscription prices.
These business dealings are highly objectionable. The newspapers Mr. Freeman are “gutting” are so much more than a business venture—they are institutions central to the democratic life of their communities, and their pages are where power is held to account. Mr. Freeman’s business decisions about these newspapers have not only weakened local journalism and cost numerous jobs, but greatly damaged institutions which are the backbone of their communities.
Mr. Freeman is the current chair of the Jewish Life at Duke Advisory Board. Jewish Life at Duke should uphold standards of ethical giving and disassociate itself from Mr. Freeman and his gifts.
Elliot Mamet is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science.
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