This story was written by P-G reporter Ashley Murray who tweeted that she reported the issue to the newsroom at 8:40 p.m. and still hadn’t heard back as of 11:30 p.m.
As of print, both links are still dead. But the stories are still posted on the paper’s social media platforms.
I filed a story today about Pittsburgh City Council members' reaction to and discussion about police brutality and reforms. Some readers have brought it to my attention that the link is broken. I alerted the newsroom at 8:40 about the issue.https://t.co/oWxiC3U5gs— Ashley Murray (@Ashley__Murray)
These apparently removed stories come on the heels of a Twitter protest undertaken by members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, the union that represents the 140 staffers at the P-G. Today, guild members and others reposted P-G staffer’s Alexis Johnson’s tweet word for word with the hashtag #IStandWithAlexis.
On Thursday, P-G management removed Johnson, who is Black, from reporting on George Floyd protests because of a tweet she sent on May 31 joking about the notorious messes typically left by fans outside of Kenny Chesney concerts, and comparing that to property damage done by looters in cities following recent protests.
Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh president and P-G reporter Mike Fuoco tweeted tonight, indicating there is some link with reporter’s support for Johnson and why the stories were pulled from the P-G website. Both Lee and Murrary participated in the Twitter protest and tweeted the hashtag #IStandWithAlexis.
A request for comment from P-G managing editor Karen Kane was not immediately returned. In an Associated Press story about the union’s Twitter protest, Kane wrote in an email that P-G’s editors cannot comment on personnel matters.
@PittsburghPG management has apparently pulled 2 stories—today’s protest and city council discussing police brutality—off the PG website after the reporters tweeted support for @alexisjreports. A journalism cardinal sin. #IStandWithAlexis https://t.co/iLpsDdNtNs— Michael A. Fuoco (@michaelafuoco)
P-G photographer Michael Santiago noted on Twitter that the stories pulled also meant that staff photographers would not have their images shown on the paper’s website.
Furthermore, P-G copy editor and page designer Alyssa Brown says that protest stories would also not be printed in the print weekend edition or on newsstands on the morning of June 6. She called the move “censorship.”
There was coverage related to the protests still up on P-G’s site today. But it is a story focused on the criminal charges levied against the 20-year-old Shaler man who allegedly started initiating the damage of a police vehicle during the protest on May 30.
Let me give you some FACTS. There were TWO protests in the city of Pittsburgh tonight but you would not know that looking at the PG website or at the print weekend edition that will be on newsstands in the morning. I do not have the words to describe my anger. This is censorship.— Alyssa Brown (@lyssa_marie_b)