Friday, September 02, 2011

Indy | By the numbers: newsroom staffing

From a story today in the Indianapolis Business Journal about the start of contract talks between The Indianapolis Star and the Newspaper Guild, which represents more than 120 Star employees:

newsroom employees in 2007 

now, after 15% got laid off three months ago

The IBJ's story focuses on the labor group's new "Save the Star" campaign urging readers to press Publisher Karen Crotchfelt to re-invest in the newspaper.

On Tuesday, blogger Ruth Holladay, who's a former Star employee, too, posted a very good -- and very frank -- view of that campaign. An excerpt:

"Maybe there is one Methodist book group made up of middle-aged white lady intellectuals who will take up the cause, but I doubt even that. We're all too busy earning a living, gasping to take in the oxygen-deprived air of this 'new economy,' and just plain living, to take up the cause."


  1. Ruth's comments are surprising. Sounds like she's forgotten her mission, spouting corporate like that. God, I hope outsiders don't think Ruth speaks for Indyites on this one. She is wayyy out of step.
    The Star's union needs all the support and encouragement it can get. Its effort to spread the word about the Star's sub-par journalism just might dissuade Ms. Crotchfeld from further weakening the news report. You know damned well that Ryerson won't step up.Someone needs to fight the good fight, so why not the union?
    I'm going to contact union president Bob King to see if I can help the cause. I hope others do the same.
    I also urge others to ignore Ruth's misguided missile. Everything about it is wrong, as I am certain she will some day realize.

  2. TRUE: Also, here's a novel economic thought: if the Star is not successful, if readers and, yes, even advertisers stop reading and subscribing and spending bucks, the Star will simply die off.

    TOO OPTIMISTIC: And then maybe something better will take it's place.

    The profession of journalism is being replaced by propaganda and aggregated junk, lite features and people selecting a stream of partisan web stuff that affirms, but never challenges their beliefs. The NYT and WSJ may survive because they do actual reporting and have the audacity to charge for content that the elite news. We're going to end up with less informed people and a shaky democracy.

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  4. How much has Indy's profit dropped?

    How many jobs were relocated elsewhere? Some of the reduction much be somewhere else, right? I know at my site a couple administrative people are now on someone else's payroll. ANd there are the centers around the country.Just wondering what the true drop is. Does anyone know?

  5. I love all the comments on the savet he star web site. It seems a real power to the people moment. Right on.

  6. Where is the righteous indignation in response to the Indy Star's poor performance that inspired the union to take a stand?
    Where are the thousands of voices of people hurt by Gannett's inhuman, degrading dismissal of talented, knowledgeable journalists?
    Could Ruth be right? Has Gannett won the war by wearing down those who question its poor judgment? Has it convinced ethical newspeople to give up, writing off the Fourth Estate as just another casualty of America's economic downturn?
    Let's hope not. The Indy Star union has started a good fight. If you don't support the union, your silence suggests that bad journalism is enough for the people of Indy.
    Help the union do what Editor Ryerson and the other editors should have been doing a long time ago: Fighting for high quality journalism.

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