Reporter gets a raise at McDonald’s, but is still fighting for one at his GateHouse paper

Remember Dean Olsen, the reporter on the health-care beat who works at McDonald’s on weekends to make ends meet?

He’s still working at the fast-food chain and still trying to get raises for journalists at GateHouse Media’s Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register.

Olsen, who leads the Springfield unit of the United Media Guild, says the union is launching a radio campaign today to put pressure on GateHouse to agree to a fair contract.

“The ads will call on people to go to a special website – – where they can read about our campaign, sign a petition and send an email to Kirk Davis, chief executive officer of GateHouse Media,” says the union chief.

Here’s the ad on SoundCloud, and here’s the transcript:

A lot has changed at the State Journal Register since GateHouse Media bought the paper in 2007. The printing press was outsourced to Peoria. Page designers, proofreaders, outdoors writer, food editor and other positions all eliminated. The newsroom formed a union to stop the bleeding and save quality journalism in Springfield. Go to and tell the out-of-town corporate owners enough is enough. It’s time to reinvest in your workers. That’s This message brought to you by the United Media Guild.

“Journalists at The State Journal-Register have gone more than seven years without a pay raise,” notes Olsen. “And since we talked [last October], I got a 10-cent-per-hour raise [at McDonald’s], making my hourly pay $8.35. McDonald’s generally gives raises every six months.”

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