detroit free press

David Gilkey, right, pictured with NPR translator Zabihullah Tamanna.
Monika Evstatieva / NPR

NPR photojournalist David Gilkey, who won wide acclaim for his work chronicling major conflicts and disasters around the world, died Sunday in Afghanistan after the Afghan unit he was traveling with was hit by rocket-propelled grenades in an apparent ambush. NPR's Afghan interpreter, Zabihullah Tamanna, was also killed in the attack, as was Afghan soldier at the wheel of their vehicle. Gilkey was 50 years old, Tamanna 38. 

NPR described Gilkey's body of work in its release confirming his death:

It is fair to say that David witnessed some of humanity's most challenging moments: He covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He covered the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He covered the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. He covered the devastating earthquake in Haiti, famine in Somalia, and most recently the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. 

Gilkey previously worked for the Detroit Free Press, and was considered one of the country's best photojournalists in his time there, and was part of the team that won the paper an Emmy for Outstanding Current News Coverage for Broadband for the video series "Michigan Marines: Band of Brothers."

He also won a George Polk award for NPR in 2010, and the White House Photographers Association named him Still Photographer of the Year in 2011. 

Gilkey was the first non-military U.S. journalist to die in Afghanistan since the latest conflict there began in 2001.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After working more than a month without contracts, unionized Detroit News and Free Press employees have ratified a new, three-year deal.

Detroit’s two major newspapers have different owners. But their business operations are run jointly through a joint operating agreement, with Free Press owner Gannett media company holding almost all the purse strings.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Employees at Detroit’s two major newspapers are working without a contract.

Detroit News and Free Press staffers held an “informational picket” near the papers’ downtown headquarters Wednesday.

The Newspaper Guild of Detroit is trying to negotiate a new contract with Gannett Media Company on behalf of both News and Free Press employees.

Enbridge Line 5 runs from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario.

There are many Michiganders feeling uneasy about the idea of those 62-year-old twin oil pipelines running along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

The aging Line 5 can carry 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids each day.

Enbridge has made promises to keep the pipeline maintained and said it’s got an emergency response team in place, but there’s a complicating factor that no one can control: big, turbulent waves.

According to columnist Nancy Kaffer, there are now 500 security cameras operated by private security companies in the downtown Detroit area.
user Tom Page / flickr

As Dan Gilbert keeps buying buildings in downtown Detroit – more than 70, now – we're seeing the prospect of new businesses, new tenants, and new people downtown.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer wonders what this means in terms of private security and public space.

Where did the iconic Detroit "D" come from?

Apr 16, 2015
Have you noticed the different Old English D's?
Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

The Old English "D" has become emblematic of the city of Detroit — it can be seen tattooed on forearms or stuck on the bumpers of cars, and of course, all over Comerica Park. The baseball team popularized the D, but where did it really come from, and why has the entire city rallied behind it?

That’s what Michael Hesser wanted to know.

Flickr user University of Wisconsin Sea Grant/Water Resources / Flickr

The Freep Film Festival begins its four-day run tomorrow.

This will be the festival's second year. It will open with a double feature of films from two of the Detroit Free Press' own videographers and photographers.

The first is Fire Photo 1. It revolves around Bill Eisner who has been the unofficial photographer for the Detroit fire department for over 50 years.

Here's a trailer:

Almost 30 years ago, I was national editor of the Detroit News, which was then the largest-circulation paper in Michigan.

The newspaper was then locked in a competitive struggle with the Detroit Free Press, and each was trying to put the other out of business. They had the novel idea that not only low prices but high quality was the way to win, and they did a lot of excellent journalism.

Back then, in the days before the World Wide Web, both newspapers sold well over 600,000 copies every day. On Sundays, their combined circulation was more than a million and a half. You could subscribe to either paper anywhere in the state.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Businessman Dan Gilbert's real estate arm says it's bought the home of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press.

Bedrock Real Estate Services made the announcement Friday about its purchase of the Detroit Media Partnership building. The News says the purchase price wasn't disclosed.

The 400,000-square-foot building was built in 1917 and designed by famed architect Albert Kahn.

Detroit Media Partnership President Joyce Jenereaux says she's "thrilled that Bedrock will be the new owner of our building."

user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

A new poll done by EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV indicates that same-sex marriage has lost support in Michigan. 

In 2013, the poll indicated that 51% supported same-sex marriage, and 41% said they opposed.

If it were put to a vote now, however, the poll found that only 47% would vote yes and 46% would vote no. The other 7% were either undecided, or refused to say. (The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4%.)

You can see the results from EPIC-MRA here (see question 26).

demccain / flickrriver

A new chapter has begun in the long history of Detroit's Belle Isle, which is transitioning to become Michigan's 102nd state park. 

The full change takes place today, as state park officials assume control of the park under the lease imposed by Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. The move should save the city between $4 and $5 million a year. 

Starting today, motorists will need an $11 state recreation passport to enter the park. 

Detroit Free Press editorial editor Stephen Henderson joins us today to talk about what we can expect for the future of Belle Isle and the city of Detroit. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

DPS emergency manager Steven Rhodes.
John Meiu / Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek was in the courtroom today when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that Detroit was eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Stephen Henderson, the editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, has been covering the bankruptcy trial on the pages of the Freep.

Sarah and Stephen talk with us in the studio today to discuss what happened today, and what it means for Detroiters.

Listen to full interview above. 


A Detroit Free Press photo editor won a $3,000 grant for her latest project — capturing her community through her iPhone lens.

Detroit Free Press / Detroit Free Press

The 2014 election season is warming up. In Michigan, we're moving from "One Tough Nerd" to "One Successful Nerd."

In an early bid to make his case for re-election, Gov. Rick Snyder released this video:

But critics say Gov. Snyder's record on the economy makes him vulnerable.

The Detroit Free Press

To many of us, Sunday mornings mean a full cup of coffee and our Sunday paper. And there certainly has been no shortage of dire and ominous headlines served up with that Sunday morning coffee.

That's why the Detroit Free Press has launched a new effort. It's called "A Better Michigan" and it will seek answers to the question, "What will it take to build a better Michigan?

Those of us at Michigan Radio and on "Stateside" are proud to be partners with the Detroit Free Press in this effort .

The editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, Stephen Henderson, joined us to talk about "A Better Michigan."

Listen to the full interview above.

Albert Kahn: The architect of Detroit

Jan 29, 2013
Goldnpuppy / Wikimedia Commons

Last week we heard the news that The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News were leaving behind a nearly 100 year-old building designed by famed architect Albert Kahn.

Now, it would be easy to continue this story, having glossed over the part about “famed architect Albert Kahn," but you really should know who this guy is.

You might not have heard of Kahn, but you’ve definitely seen his work or the work of his firm.

Stateside: Changes to tax refunds may come as a surprise to some

Jan 29, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

For those who have not yet completed your 2012 tax returns- brace yourselves.

In 2011 Governor Snyder signed a tax overhaul package that included $1.4 billion  in additional income taxes and $1.7 billion in business tax cuts.

Last weekend, when I was going to the North American International Auto Show, I walked by the Detroit News building.

It is an impressive structure, designed by legendary architect Albert Kahn nearly a century ago.  Carved along the top are inspirational sayings about the role of the press in a Democratic society. The News moved into that building in 1917, as the United States was moving into World War I.

Since then, presidents and would-be presidents have gone there to be interviewed, as has virtually every celebrity the nation has known. Some of the nation’s greatest journalists have worked in that building, where the editors ran the place from magnificent paneled offices and one of the world’s most beautiful newspaper libraries. In the years before radio, they set up billboards outside and crowds gathered to read the World Series scores and news bulletins.

Stateside: Paying off a degree of debt

Nov 27, 2012
Western Michigan University's Main Campus
user TheKuLeR / Wikimedia Commons

Graduating from college brings with it many things -  four years of academic achievement, a degree, and for some... substantial financial debt.

Continuing our student debt conversation we spoke today with Detroit Free Press financial columnist Susan Tompor. Pam Fowler, Executive Director of Financial Aid at the University of Michigan, also joing us.

According to Tompor, one of the primary reasons students fall so deeply into debt is their failure to record the money they borrow.

Allan Lengel writes for Deadline Detroit, "the recent exodus is unprecedented in size for local media outlets, and it has shaken the staff and left the top management searching for talent to fill a few of the positions."