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Virginia Gerst
Pioneer Press
Virginia Gerst / Payne Award Recipient
Glenview, IL


Glenview, IL

fired for refusing to do a favorable restaurant review

Below excerpted from Pioneer Press Aims at Foot, Fires by Michael Miner (http://www.chicagoreader.com/hottype/2003/030905_1.html):

Few things galvanize an unhappy workplace like an elegant resignation. When Virginia Gerst quit Pioneer Press on principle last week, a sign scribbled in Magic Marker immediately went up on the Newspaper Guild bulletin board at Pioneer's Glenview headquarters. "Integrity died here 8-27-03," it said. And Gerst was management; she didn't even belong to the guild.

Pioneer Press publishes 49 weekly papers in Chicago's northern, northwestern, and western suburbs. Gerst edited the arts and entertainment section, Diversions, for 27 of them. She'd been at Pioneer 27 years, and colleagues esteemed her. "Virginia is the Pioneer's best employee," says sportswriter Bill Pemstein. Her resignation "just broke everybody's heart."