Chris Serres explains leaving Star Tribune business pages to be union activist
Chris Serres, veteran business investigative reporter for the Star Tribune, is on his way out the door.
But Serres isn't the typical victim of newsroom budget cuts or low morale. Instead, he's following his passionate political beliefs.
Serres will work as a researcher and and campaigner for the Unite HERE union in Las Vegas, which represents about 55,000 hotel and casino workers in Nevada.
Serres grew up in Oregon and attended Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. He started his career reporting on politics for "The Western Report," a political and economics magazine in Canada. He worked in Raleigh, North Carolina as a business journalist, then came to the Strib to be a finance writer in 2004. He's been quite involved in the Strib's union politics, according to former Strib writer Doug Grow, now of MinnPost.
"It's been great," Serres said in an August "Meet the Media" interview with Risdall McKinney Public Relations. "I can't imagine doing anything but what I'm doing right now. Every day is interesting, and I meet fascinating people every day."
Serres will be working for UNITE HERE.
Despite his love for the craft, Serres says it's time to move on.
"My reasons for leaving newspapers after 20 years are personal and political," Serres told us in an emailed statement. "They stem from a growing belief that, without a vigorous union movement, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery and impoverishment. In the midst of blatant injustices against workers and recent, unjustified attacks against unions, I found it increasingly difficult to stand on the sideline as a spectator."
Although he is obviously excited about the new position, Serres admits that deciding to leave journalism was a tough choice.
"It's mixed. It was a tremendously difficult decision because I love what I'm doing, and I love journalism," Serres says. "The Star Tribune is one of the last newspapers in the country where people who care deeply about their craft are still given the freedom to pursue hard-hitting, ambitious journalism. That's not a given anymore. That made it really, really difficult. They fight injustice with information, possibly the greatest weapon of all."
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