Tribune Company Bankruptcy
Experts (and I am not one, and this is not legal advice) tell me that freelancers are "creditors." In bankruptcy, first the equity is wiped out; then the creditors are lined up, senior to junior. Writers would be general , more or less at the bottom of the ladder (as opposed to various , such as banks).
Interesting related point: Any database company looking for indemnity from Tribune properties also becomes an unsecured creditor.