Incoming Union-Tribune owner tells staff he views newspapers as ‘last bastion’ to protect democracy

by John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune

New owner-in-waiting Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong told employees of The San Diego Union-Tribune Monday afternoon that he sees journalism as the “last bastion for the health of our democracy.”

Meeting with the staff for the first time, the billionaire biotech entrepreneur also promised to invest in the newspaper, which like others across the country has seen its staff cut dramatically amid financial and readership disruptions caused by the rise of the Internet.

And he said the 150-year-old San Diego publication will not be the ignored stepchild of the Los Angeles Times, his hometown paper, which he is also buying in a $500 million deal from Tronc.

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