Hedged: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy

Margot Susca

The ultrawealthy largely own and guide the newspaper system in the United States. Through entities like hedge funds and private equity firms, this investor class continues to dismantle the one institution meant to give voice to average citizens in a democracy.
   Margot Susca reveals the little-known history of how private investment took over the newspaper industry. Drawing on a political economy of media, Susca’s analysis uses in-depth interviews and documentary evidence to examine issues surrounding ownership and power. Susca also traces the scorched-earth policies of layoffs, debt, cash-outs, and wholesale newspaper closings left behind by private investors and the effects of the devastation on the future of news and information. Throughout, Susca reveals an industry rocked less by external forces like lost ad revenue and more by ownership and management obsessed with profit and beholden to private fund interests that feel no responsibility toward journalism or the public it is meant to serve.