The battling Indy Newspaper Guild

Dateline: Wed 16 Nov 2011

You can't keep a good Guild down. Hence the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, CWA Local 34070, is doing impressive work spreading the word about Gannett's terrible management of the Indianapolis Star and the corporation's insane, hostile politices towards workers, all in the name of growing revenue at any cost.

If you are on Facebook, you'll want to keep up with the latest re: Guild activities at this link:!/indynewsguild

And if you're not a Facebook person, the latest is that Guild membership is now at 75 percent, a historic high. 

Yesterday, the Guild posted this information on its web page:

"The line between news and paid advertising blurred just a little bit further today at The Star. Page A6 has a story/ad combo that share a great amount of similarity in subject matter; the advertiser even sponsors a video chat with one of the USA Today reporters who wrote the story."

The story, explains the Guild, is about shopping local and how small businesses are revving up for the holiday shopping season. (The irony in my view is that nobody local was interviewed, and nobody local wrote the story -- again, it was USA Today reporters).

The top half of the page (A6) was devoted to the story; the bottom half was entirely taken up by an ad from American Express, urging people to "pledge to shop small." Even more odd is the aforementioned video "presented by American Express," in which the USA Today reporter Jayne O'Donnell gives her shopping tips on this subject.

Thanks to the Guild for exposing this and other Gannett shenanigans, all the while continuing to do their jobs in the newsroom and building services.

Bobby King, Guild prez, had an excellent, insightful story Sunday about the young teen-ager son of parents who were teens when they had him, part of the ongoing series about life in Indianapolis Public Schools. John Russell has continued to get the goods on Duke, holding that utility accountable for poor management, cost overrides and too-cozy relationships with government.

But the mood in the newsroom has to be tough, since Gannett and its lawyers are known for squeezing as much life out of their workforces as is humanly possible.  Still, the Facebook page is an excellent reminder that newspaper employees are inherently tough themselves and able to rise to the challenge, when the chips are down.

Power to the Guild.


Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The Russell pieces have bene brilliant./ he's digging through old emails. THAT is gumshoe reporting at its best.

A sure sign he'll be next on the chopping block.

He's uncovering some of the illicit revolving-door environment that exists between Indiana's utilities and government. That unholy alliance inclluded the son of the late great Ed Ziegner, among many others.

But I digress...

2011-11-16 15:27:42

hendy [Member] said:

I used to have faith in the IURC.... but no more.

Here's to the Guild's tenacity under fire. Cheers!

2011-11-16 15:31:56

Prepostericity [unverified] said:

Hi Ruth, sorry to hijack your thread. If possible, please forward my email address to a member of the DeLong family who were victimised by the Speedway bombings many years ago. I am going to have to pay Kimberlin some money. It's not much. But perhaps the DeLongs can put a lien on it. Or maybe just relay this information to a family member who can emotionally handle being reminded of what happened. Thanks for your time and consideration.

2011-11-17 00:36:10

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Hendy--if you ever hd ANY faith in the IURC or its predecessor PSC, you were not paying attention. Respectfully.

It's been corrupt since pre-Marble Hill. Small-c corrupt...but nonetheless, unworthy of our respect.

Powerful legislators have bene getting their mistresses jobs at the IURC-PSC, or utillities, or both, for decades, and similar nonsense. It's baffling. The revolving door between IURC-PSC and utilities is disgusting.

Kepe digging, John Russell. Here are some names that might grab your interest:

Dick Stein, Gordon Harper, Larry Mohr, Carmel Bank and Trust, over-collateralized race horses, and I've got more...

2011-11-17 05:13:19

hendy [Member] said:

No-- say it's not so!

They actually helped a bit before. You'll note my many and numerous battles with AT&T and Comcast, and other telcos. They tried, the IURC did.

People wonder why there's a loss in faith regarding the government, and why litigation is so prevalent. Everything the nuns taught me was wrong. The system doesn't really work, unless you game the system. Today, I go to inquire about a tax refund, for a cost in 2005 that should have never been incurred. It was settled in 2010. I'm still waiting for the check. They never call you back, never send a letter acknowledging the debt. They are boors; they are charlatans, they are people put in a bad spot controlled by evil leaders. Sigh.

2011-11-17 08:38:45

Tell The Truth [Member] said:


As part of the neocon crowd's "less govt. isk better" phase, we didk away with telecom regulation in the strictest sense. Cable companies have no governmental reason to behave, and look what we've got.

Brighthouse is a toy cable company. AT&T is allowed to peddle a 4G network when they barely reach 1G about 75% of the time. There's no repercussion to their sloppiness and over-selling. Comcast has been/is a joke as far as customer service goes.

And the IURC has no teeth to go after any of them. Hence it continues.

I'm rooting for the Star reporter. There are multiple avenues he canpursue.

2011-11-17 09:31:19

hendy [Member] said:

TTT-- I've long documented the Judge Greene era WRT AT&T, the breakup, the baby Bells, the Tariffs, the state RCs, utilities, and so forth. I know them from first hand experience in intimate ways. It's about shifting regulatory authority to Washington, rather than having to pay off the RCs of 44 states that have/had them. The same goes for most communications utilities. I'm the ex chair of a national community communications association, and have been a member of the now defunct ICA, etc etc. As a consumer, my views are that we are SO screwed. The inmates are now in charge of the asylum. Welcome to the 99%.

2011-11-17 17:49:54

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

You're right, Hendy.

AT&T is among the worst. They blatantly lie about their 4G coverage, and they can't reach 1.5 most of the time.

It's the old theory of a garden hose and sprinklers. With one sprinkler, the spray is powerful. Attach five more and you get water from each, but none of them will be mpowerful.

AT&T continues to sell more phones than their towers can handle, and they just don't care. It's fraud. I check my download speed several times a day, keep a log, and re-negotiate my bil every month.

They have never, ever disputed my claims. Their signal strength status is not unique among utilities--Brighthouse and Comcast have similar cable problems, AT&T's Uverse is the same.

CEO of ATT-Indiana? Frank O'Bannon's former chief of staff. Please tell me what a politician knows about running a utility. Or why a utility would choose him. Wait, we know that answer. A great gig if you can get it. Big salary and preside over a company that lies daily.

They're sadly not alone.

Plaintiff rests.

2011-11-17 20:07:58

hendy [Member] said:

If we continue, we'll hijack the thread completely. If you want a fact-based tome on utility diffusion, let me know. Or visit my website for some of the more juicier bites. www dot extremelabs dot com is the address.

2011-11-17 21:40:41

Tell The Truth [Member] said:


You can have your blog back, Ruthie dear.

2011-11-18 10:09:59

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I've always wondered the degree of impact that the success of the Colts in the past several years has had on The Star's circulation. Now, that the Colts have nosedived (for an indeterminate period of time), I wonder how this is impacting The Star's circulation at present.

Any ideas?

2011-11-18 10:49:48

hendy [Member] said:

Gannett has to post a published postal service (USPS form) circulation statement; you should be able to get the info from that; also, the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) will have the audited info; a correlation could be derived from that data.

2011-11-18 11:10:48

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The audited statement must run every October. In the first four pages, although that part of the regulations gets ignored sometimes.

It also lists all owenrs of the publication, who hold 1% or more of the corporation.

Very interesting reading.

2011-11-18 11:42:34

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2011-11-18 16:35:53

home loans [unverified] said:

It's well known that cash makes us free. But what to do when someone has no money? The one way is to get the loan or just financial loan.

2011-11-19 08:40:07

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Today's Sunday Star minute count: 16. Including a ridiculous article in the "Business" section about some 31-year-old who'd become, as the headline told us, an "expert" in some field or another.

Good grief.

Sunday's NYTimes: two hours and counting--some put-aside longer magazine articles for later in the week.

Online Miami Herald: 15 minutes.

And so it goes.

2011-11-20 16:40:37

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I've been reading The Star regularly since I was a kid in 1960, with the exception of 10 years I lived out of the area. My family has been multi-day-a-week subscribers for close to 25 years,

The other day, I was looking at the newspaper I got delivered to my porch and asked myself, "why am I paying for this thing?" There were relatively few local stories, very little of interest to me. The normal silliness such as what TTT cited (31-year-old "expert", etc.). Also, the poor copy editing we've come to expect recently.

So, this week we will be canceling our subscription to The Indianapolis Star.

I know this won't have Gannett's millionaire executives shaking in their shoes, but I suppose it is my very tiny contribution to the anti-Gannett/anti-corporation cause.

2011-11-21 09:50:27

hendy [Member] said:

You lose customers one at a time. As long as they have advertisers, they're in business. Once the advertisers realize they're spending their money down a rathole, it'll be the end. As to the Guild members; I wish them the best of luck.

2011-11-21 15:14:58

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Guild: how about this:

The next time one of your members is told to write a silly-ass story like the one cited above, get the "blue flu."

For all the whining we do about these dumb stories, someone writes them. Maybe if writer stopped dling the stupid stuff, something good might happen.

They've tried about everything else.

2011-11-21 20:00:58

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