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CHICAGO — On Tuesday, Journatic whistleblower Ryan Smith and volunteers from Free Press delivered more than 20,000 petitions to Tribune Co. headquarters in Chicago, calling on the company to stop doing business with Journatic.

In the attached image, Free Press volunteer Tanya Ruderman is pictured outside of the Tribune offices with the petition.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune suspended its relationship with Journatic, a company that has been outsourcing local news production overseas and using fake bylines. However, Tribune Co. and news giant Hearst Corporation are still using Journatic at other outlets across the country, including the Hartford Courant, the Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle. On Monday, the Houston Chronicle disclosed that more than 350 Journatic articles it had published used fake bylines.

Free Press Advocacy and Organizing Manager Libby Reinish made the following statement:

“We are pleased that the Chicago Tribune has suspended its relationship with Journatic. But in the next few weeks, we're going to be putting pressure on all of Journatic's major clients — including Tribune and Hearst newspapers in Houston, Hartford and San Francisco, where hometown journalists have been laid off in droves — to stop doing business with this jobs-killing operation. We'll be making phone calls and delivering signatures from people who are speaking out in favor of local jobs for local reporters. It should be clear by now that good local news can't be outsourced. We need more local journalists who know their communities and uphold journalistic ethics.”

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