San Diego Fallout continues over the prospective sell-off of the Copley newspapers in the Midwest. In Peoria, Illinois, home of the Journal Star, the Peoria Newspaper Guild, which represents reporters and photographers at the paper, has set up Save the Journal Star, a website that warns, "We will not tolerate an owner who insults our region with mediocre and half-hearted news coverage in the name of short-term profit. We will not tolerate an owner who refuses to recognize a responsibility for civic engagement. To current Journal Star owner David Copley, we say: Continue to be a steward of first-rate journalism and civic responsibility. Sell only to a buyer who recognizes the common good that journalistic excellence represents. To anyone who is in the market for the Journal Star, we say: Buyer beware! Regardless of who owns this newspaper, it belongs to this community."
Meanwhile, over in Springfield, the Illinois state capital, where Copley has put the State Journal-Register on the block, one blogger is fretting that the citizenry isn't sufficiently engaged over the pending ownership change. "Are the people of Springfield as passionate about their own paper as the people of Peoria? If there's a similar movement in Springfield to save the SJR, it hasn't crossed my radar," writes Marie Carnes, who describes herself as a Springfield native and legal secretary, blogging since 2001. "Being the primary newspaper located in the seat of Illinois government, citizens and businesses in and around Springfield should turn a critical eye towards any prospective buyers." Carnes notes that locals should also be concerned about the fate of the town's Great Western Railroad Station, a piece of Lincoln-era memorabilia owned by Copley. "The salaries of the U.S. Park Rangers who operate it are funded by the paper. The paper and its proprietors have done an excellent job of maintaining and keeping alive the memory of Springfield's smallest, but most important, passenger station. What will become of this treasure when the newspaper is sold?"