Support for the newspaper Guild 70

Dateline: Sun 07 Jan 2007

A reader of this blog sent the following.

"Wanted to let you and your readers know that Dennis Ryerson (executive editor of the Indinaapolis Star) is

having a chat with readers online tomorrow -- Monday 1/8 at -- if they want to ask him his opinion about

management's so-far thwarted attempt to dissolve the wall between

journalists and advertising.

"I have posted a question in advance on this subject," continues the message. "I'd like to see the community show support for the Star's brave and beleaguered newspaper guild chapter, which faces extremely long odds in maintaining standards and support for professional journalists in the profit-is-all world of the Gannett Corp."

Thanks for bringing this to a wider audience.

Ryerson mentioned his chat in both today's print edition and the online edition.

Most of you are up to speed on the much publicized battle between the Star's Guild and Ryerson and CEO Ali Zoibi. The managers joined forces earlier to ask that newsroom employees -- reporters, graphic artists, copy editors -- write advertorial copy. The Guild strenuously and firmly objected, and the unprecedented demand from management made enough waves to spill over into Poynter, Editor & Publisher, the Indianapolis Business Journal, and numerous blogs. NUVO is writing a story as well.

For now, management has backed off, but there is no promise that the issue has gone away. But the Guild is taking a principled position. "...the 1st Amdendment is not for sale," Guild officers said in their December newsletter.

Also, thanks to the Guild for sending out its annual $40 appreciation gift certificates from Kroger, not only to current Guild members but to those who were members in 2006 and either left for a new job or a management slot. "We're still honoring our commitment to give you a gift certificate."

Honoring a commitment is what decent people do. That's what management should do for the newsroom employees of the Indianapolis Star. But without enough public pressure, it may not happen.

Give 'em hell.



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