Laid-Off Gannett Reporter Occupies Lansing

By Rachel Kaufman Comment

Barbara Weiland was laid off from her reporting job at the Lansing State Journal in June, along with 700 other Gannett employees.

Now she’s marching with the crew of Occupy Lansing.

The American Independent reports that after Weiland’s severance ran out, she began to struggle to pay her mortgage and credit card bills. She stopped by the protest HQ to drop off hand-knitted hats and scarves and ended up joining the march.

She told TAI her experiences of covering poverty in the Lansing area were nothing in comparison to living in poverty. “It’s like America hates its own people,” she told TAI.

But what stings the most: Former CEO Craig Dubow’s retirement package of $37.1 million in retirement and disability. Dubow resigned in October, citing medical problems. His disability retirement package is significantly more than if he had retired under normal circumstances.

“If you divide that [$37 million] by 700 people, you get about $50,000 — that was my annual salary,” Weiland said.