Archive | May, 2012

The Empty Copy Desk

23 May

From John E. McIntyre’s “You Don’t Say” column in the Baltimore Sun, May 23, 2012:

Gregory Moore, the editor of the Denver Post, is, I believe, a good man grappling with a difficult challenge. The Post, as described in an article at Poynter.org by Steve Myers, is essentially eliminating its copy desk. Eleven are going or gone, a couple have been reassigned to other duties, and the nine survivors become assistant editors assigned to the various newsroom departments.

When explanations of these and similar changes are made, there is talk of moving away from “assembly-line editing” and “outmoded nineteenth-century industrial processes” to some bold, modern, fresh, immediate journalism that removes all those unnecessary “touches” between the writer and the reader.

This is, of course, cant. The brutal facts are these: Terrified by declines in revenue, newspapers are shedding employees to save money. They are attempting to keep as many reporters as possible to generate content, and they are gambling that you will tolerate shoddier work.

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Denver Post, Contra Costa Times Revamp Story Editing With Fewer Copy Editors

23 May

From Poynter.org, May 23, 2012:

In some ways, the Denver Post and Contra Costa Times’ cutbacks in copyediting, announced last month and now final, is a common story these days. Less common are the other changes they’re making in how they handle print stories.

The Denver Post is eliminating its copy desk and moving away from an assembly-line editing process. Instead, reporters and editors on each desk will take stories from reporting to publishing, online and in print.

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Non-newsroom Bargaining: Session Twelve

15 May

DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD and Denver Post representatives met May 8.

The session began with the union’s committee explaining safety concerns related to the company’s plan to have production maintenance employees work across trades. We asked the company to provide required electrical safety training for all employees in the production maintenance department. Management committed to research required training and to provide it.

An agreement was reached on the pay scale for the new Production Technician position. The position will start at $24 an hour and advance to $25 after one year of service. Current production maintenance employees will retain their current pay scales. One production maintenance issue has not been resolved yet: The company wants to move all production maintenance employees into the new title within the next few months. The union proposed to retain current job titles for current employees until everybody is fully cross-trained.

Circulation management thanked the District Managers at the meeting for the great job home delivery employees have done. The company proposed to cut $411,000 out of home delivery labor costs. That amount is in addition to the savings from the recent layoff of five District Managers and five Assistant District Managers. Management asked the union to propose how to achieve the proposed expense cuts.

The union presented a proposal attempting to achieve the savings needed to compete with the bid from a call center located in Honduras. Under the proposal, most of the savings are achieved by combining the inbound and outbound staff and duties, eliminating all commissions and reducing full-time hours.

The next session is scheduled for May 24.

Kathy Rudolph
Sam Johnson
Maureen Shively
Michelle Miller
Tom Peterson
Laurie Faliano
Paulette Shrefler
Tony Mulligan