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Dept. of AAAAAAAaaaaaaaa

OH, CRAP 

Crap, crappity crap.
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/397508.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

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strannik01
Feb. 9th, 2016 03:22 am (UTC)
WTF? What on earth? Never mind; I won't ask, it's not my business, but ... augh.

I've made references to it before, on Liverjournal, Twitter and elsewhere, but now that I think about it, I only wrote about it in fairly broad terms, and I never put little bits of info in one place. At first, I hoped that the situation could be fixed, and when it was made clear that the situation couldn't be fixed, I decided to save it for a big "inside Tribune Publishing" post, but I never got around to writing this, between work and the fact that there were other things I would so much rather blog about.

To try to make a long story short... Well, there are a lot of things I don't know about, because, to this day, my former editors aren't allowed to share things with me, but the parts I do know is that I ran afoul of a local activist. I misquoted him, and he (apparently) thought it was deliberate attempt to make him look bad. And he at the very least threatened to sue the Trib (whether he ever actually did remains a mystery to this day). At first, I was told simply not to talk to him. Then, I made a typo when quoting a law (didn't capitalize "state" in the "State of Illinois,") which would normally be easily overlooked, but which was enough for someone higher up the editorial food chain to take me off politics entirely and have me stick to events coverage and non-controversial fluff. While at one of those events, the activist tried to talk to me, and took offense when I didn't talk back. And, when I asked whether he was suing the Trib or not, he said I was harassing him. Next thing I know, someone way high up on the food chain (don't know who, was the hints I got suggest some Trib executive) ordered my editor not to use me. And, as I later found out, that order covers pretty much everything that falls under Chicago Tribune Media Group(it maybe Tribune Publishing in general). Hence "blacklisting."

...And that wasn't very short at all, was it? I guess I needed to vent a bit.

That's something I think people outside the union don't think we worry about. But we do.

While some of the statements made by Chicago Newspaper Guild made me wonder, the reporters and editors I dealt with have actually been pretty respectful, and never treated me like I was any less of a journalist. So that's reassuring.

Edited at 2016-02-09 03:24 am (UTC)
kaffyr
Feb. 9th, 2016 06:56 pm (UTC)
This sounds like Tribune paranoia (although the ST also used to periodically do that sort of thing.) And, really, to consider not capitalizing "state" in "state of Illinois" a typo? That's ridiculous. In my day, she said, acting like the old fart she is, even a misquote merited a correction and a "hey, don't do it again," from lower management. I really hate professional paranoia.

While some of the statements made by Chicago Newspaper Guild made me wonder

As a Guild, we always have to take a strong stance against the managerial practice of trying to supplant the people they've hired on staff. But part of the frustration we have is that managements who are happy to misuse their own staff are also happy to misuse stringers: they'll cut the pay rates because they can, they'll be arbitrary in the way they respond to complaints (as you know), and they do it because they know stringers have no recourse. Many stringers work just as hard for a company as the company's own staff - but they don't have the benefit of a decent salary or, well, benefits.