Acclaimed columnist Rochelle Riley among 8 Detroit Free Press staffers to take buyout
Columnist takes buyout after nearly 19 years at newspaper
DETROIT – Longtime Detroit Free Press columnist and journalist Rochelle Riley is among eight staffers at the newspaper to take a buyout.
The buyouts are part of a corporate cost-cutting initiative.
According to the Detroit Newspaper Guild, a union representing journalists in Metro Detroit, there were no in involuntary layoffs at the Free Press. There were enough volunteers to prevent involuntary layoffs.
In a Facebook post Friday, Riley wrote, "I have been a journalist for most of my life, a columnist at the Detroit Free Press for a third of it. Yes, I'm leaving the newspaper."
Riley is being hailed for taking the buyout in order to prevent other staffers from losing their jobs.
I have so much respect for @rochelleriley, and her reason for taking the @freep buyout is one of the noblest acts a journalist can do for colleagues. "She made her decision to take the voluntary layoff to help colleague keep their jobs." https://t.co/UzGw1xajZ1— Stephanie Steinberg (@Steph_Steinberg) January 19, 2019
In an article published Sunday, Riley discussed her decision to take the buyout writing, "As you’ve probably heard, I’ve decided to accept a buyout and leave the Detroit Free Press after nearly 19 years. What you have not heard is what I’ll be doing next. That announcement is coming. And I won’t be leaving right away, so this is not a farewell column."
Riley has also held positions as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Times Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. In 2016, Riley was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
Throughout her career, Riley has been an advocate for improved race relations, literacy and community building and worked agressively to help minorities launch careers in journalism.
Riley is not leaving the newspaper right away. She plans on completing a project on how trauma affects the way children learn. Riley also noted she would write a farewell column before officially leaving.