Staffers at the Los Angeles Times are reportedly buying burner phones amid worries of a newsroom crackdown
- Staffers at the Los Angeles Times are reportedly growing worried over the newspaper's leadership and have begun using encrypted messaging apps and buying burner phones to discuss internal politics.
- The employees voiced their concerns about an apparent crackdown on newsroom leaks, and are worried that Tronc, the publisher of the LA Times, may be developing a "shadow" newsroom.
Staffers at the Los Angeles Times are reportedly growing worried about management at Tronc, the newspaper's publisher, because of an alleged crackdown on newsroom leaks, HuffPost reported on Friday.
Those worries stem in part from a larger initiative at Tronc in which sources with knowledge who were interviewed by HuffPost said a "shadow" newsroom is being developed as a precursor to potential layoffs of newly unionized journalists at the LA Times.Because of those worries, some employees have reportedly begun using encrypted-messaging apps to communicate with each other. Some have resorted to using burner phones, HuffPost reported.
"The newsroom has basically become a large-scale intelligence operation to figure out what the f--k our managers are up to," an employee told HuffPost.
The situation was apparently compounded by an investigative piece the LA Times published in September 2017, which covered the business relationship between Disney and the Southern California city of Anaheim, where two Disney parks are located.
Editor-in-chief Lewis D'Vorkin reportedly became livid after Disney banned LA Times journalists from advance movie screenings after the investigation was published. But according to employees at the newspaper cited by HuffPost, D'Vorkin, who was hired in October, is believed to have directed his concerns, not toward Disney, but at his LA Times staff instead.
The matter gained renewed urgency after Kimi Yoshino, the LA Times editor who supervised the Disney piece, was suspended and escorted out of the building on Thursday.
According to current and former employees cited by HuffPost, D'Vorkin has quickly developed a reputation as a mercurial figure. Some said they believe he's "at war with the entire staff."