Copy editors: multiplatform performers (killing us softly)

Dateline: Fri 02 Apr 2010

This is from a reader and former Star employee, who received the following in an email from a friend's friend who was bought out at the Washington Post:

"The Post is now hiring copy editors but not calling them copy editors, the job posting is for, and I quote, 'Multiplatform performers to work in print and online.' To me that sounds like someone doing a high dive. But in reality, it is for a basic CHEAP reason: the newspaper guild, the shell that is left of it anyway, covers copy editors. Says so in the contract. BUT it does not cover multiplatform performers. It covers photographers and photo editors, which my friend Dan was at post.com, and before he went there, at the Post. But it does not cover 'photo gallery assemblers' which is what his new title is even tho he is actually a photo editor. So, this is the new world."
 

Here's another example of the new buzz word being used to talk about media, circa 2007:

"Newsweekly:" Contradictory Term?

"Today's news is about the massive layoffs at Time Inc.'s big magazines, Time, People, Sports Illustrated and other marquee nameplates. 'The layoffs are about the restructuring of our editorial staffs as we move quickly into a future of flexible, multiplatform content creation,' John Huey, Time Inc.'s editor in chief, e-mailed...

And in August 2008, in preparation for the visit of Pope Benedict to the U.S., Multichannel.com ran a headline:

"NBC Ramps Up Multiplatform Coverage for Papal Visit"

You don't have to look hard to find that this is a tech term, borrowed from new media. It's another good example of how old media will twist language in order to destroy jobs and dignity and create new ways for journalists to think about themselves (and their subsequent pay cuts).

Comments

hendy [Member] said:

It's a practice that's ancient. Find a way to flip off the union by re-describing workers out of the union jurisdiction. One of four courses of action invariably ensues: nothing, litigation, workplace action, and internal heat/pressure. Then something else happens.

I go to the NAB show in a couple of weeks, as press. These are a combo of old and new media players and their various armies and functionaries. What there is, is either fear or fear and exhilaration. New media is essentially non-union. And in some areas, the entire process of media delivery has become diffuse. Does new media need a union? Are the problems of print publishers continuing so that unionization is beneficial to protect workers?

Journalists, like everyone else, need to plan their own futures somewhat independently of employers. There aren't any jobs for life anymore, and 30 years of a career is difficult to predict in media, no matter where you work or the discipline you ascribe to (pun not intended).

This too, will pass.

2010-04-02 17:27:34

John Howard [unverified] said:

I think IndyStar should be looking for people disinclined to draw grafitti on stories prior to publishing them.

2010-04-02 20:04:01

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