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WASHINGTON — The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently announced that a newly formed Delaware-based company had paid $140 million to purchase the daily newspaper and its affiliated publications. The financial backers behind the new company, News + Media Capital Group LLC, have refused to disclose the new owners’ identities to the public or even newsroom staffers.

After a report of the sale ran in the Review-Journal on Thursday night, the paper’s publisher asked the editor to delete a quote from Michael Schroeder, the company’s manager. According to a report in the Huffington Post, Schroeder told the Review-Journal that the new owners “want you to focus on your jobs … don’t worry about who they are.”

Many Review-Journal staffers have since taken to Twitter to speak out against the secrecy and call for transparency.

Free Press Journalism Program Director Fiona Morgan made the following statement:

“Free Press stands with Review-Journal staff in calling on the owners and investors of the News + Media Capital Group to come forward and identify themselves. Reporters ask for transparency of others in power, so it’s critical that news organizations themselves be held accountable and reveal their owners to readers, sources and their own employees.

“Not knowing who owns the paper they work for diminishes the ability of Review-Journal reporters to identify potential conflicts of interest in their work. This lack of transparency also undermines the public’s trust, which is the foundation of good journalism. Newspapers need their communities’ trust to survive. The secrecy cloaking the Review-Journal’s new owners has created unnecessary uncertainty at the paper.

“The Review-Journal is Nevada’s most influential newspaper, and Nevada is an early primary state in the 2016 presidential campaign, which makes knowing the owners and their political objectives, if any, a matter of national significance. It’s time for whoever’s behind this deal to come out of the shadows.”

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