Several weeks ago, we wrote about a move by GateHouse Media, owner of The Repository in Canton, The Independent in Massillon and The Times-Reporter in Dover-New Philadelphia, to consolidate all copy desks in papers around the country to centralized desks in Chicago and New England.
Various sources indicate that the move could affect 17 jobs in the Ohio group.
Veteran Repository reporter Tim Botos posted the following update on the “Save The Repository” Facebook page.
I’ve been a reporter in the newsroom for 13 years, and a member of the Newspaper Guild for 20 years. I also sit on the Guild collective bargaining committee.
All told, there are about 180 Guild members at The Repository. Some of us know each other by name. Some of us know each other only by face. Some of us don’t know each other at all; we work different shifts, or in areas of the buildings that rarely cross paths.
All of us, though, share a common bond as members of this same union. The “union” isn’t our paid representative in Cleveland. It’s not the board members. It’s you and me and us. A union is only as strong as its members want it to be.
The employer wants to outsource many of our jobs, not to mention some of your non-union co-workers. The reason: They say they can pay outsiders less than they pay us. They say those outsiders, “professionals” they called them, can do the job just as well.
I disagree. You should too.
Doing the “right thing” isn’t always easy. It can take work. But the right thing now is to show the employer we are a union. That we stand by one another and have each other’s backs. The outsourcing proposal does not affect my job, but I do take it personally because of our bond. I stand by those affected, because I believe they’d stand by me if this situation was reversed.
It is the right thing to do.
We’ve started a mobilization committee. We want to send a message to the employer. I’d ask all of you to pitch in. If you have questions, just ask me, or any of the others whose names appear on the union bulletin boards.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE LAID OFF – Charles Apple has a fantastic blog on a resource guide for laid-off journalists, which applies to anybody else out there who may be laid off.
DISCUSSING PATERNO – I’m a week behind, but Nate Riggs wrote recently about how the Penn State sex scandal proved to be a tragic and swift death of an iconic brand. Definitely worth a read today.
FACEBOOK FAIL – Companies need to be careful when it comes to Facebook promotions.
Here’s a recent post from Bulldog Reporter about a advertisement which hurt a company.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated with impact on local newspapers).
In a move that could have a major impact on employment for various newspaper employees across the country and for local readers in Stark and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio, GateHouse Media, the owners of The (Canton) Repository, The (Massillon)Independent and (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter announced this week that they will lay out all newspapers it owns across the country from copy desks in Chicago and New England.
The memo, leaked to a national newspaper blogger, doesn’t specifically indicate if the changes include GateHouse Ohio’s local media cluster of The Repository, Times-Reporter and The Independent, but sources indicate that it would impact various employees at those newspapers.
Throughout the country, copy desks need to have local editors. I’ve worked at copy desks where having a working knowledge of the local community helps catch errors in stories, errors that news editors haven’t caught.
Second, recent downsizing at newspapers leave readers with gaping holes in news coverage. Can newspapers today cover all towns and cities in its coverage area? I know it’s an issue in Stark County.
Instead of downsizing, I propose newspapers restructure staffs to include “backpack journalists.” These can provide updates throughout the day which can be posted online. The additional content from all areas can add a compelling argument for businesses to buy ads and for readers to pay more for extra content.
What do you think, would you pay more for content as a reader and would you be more likely to buy ads if additional hometown news content was available online?
LOOKING FOR A JOB – All Facebook had a tip of an interesting way to apply for a job at Facebook.
ATHLETES TO WATCH – Communications Pro had an interesting story about their picks for the ten most engaged athletes on Twitter. Here is their list.