Friday, July 04, 2014

Indianapolis Newspaper Guild Issues "Declaration Of Resistance" Blasting Gannett-Owned Star

Employees of the Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star have used Independence Day, the day the American colonists declared their independence from Great Britain, to issue a declaration of their own--a Declaration of Resistance--to blast the corporate media giant's treatment of its employees. The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, which represents the workers employed by the Star, declared "that our Workers are, and of Right ought to be, mad as Hell and that we have reached an unfortunate state: We are unwilling to take it anymore."

To express their dissatisfaction, the Declaration says the workers intend to "agitate, decorate, convene, protest, march, align, resist, chant, sing and wear bright and bold colors in a uniform fashion even when such colors are out of season until the Corporation recognizes that its workers are flesh and blood people, that it stops acting like a bully at the table of Negotiations and that it gives us a decent contract."

The Guild's Declaration complains about Gannett's history of layoffs, furloughs, outsourcing and pay cuts as top management "wallowed in bonuses." It laments Gannett's pleas of poverty as its stock prices increased ten-fold, profits remain high and executive compensation and bonuses "remained at obscene levels." The Declaration notes that Gannett recently assured its CEO a payout of $46 million should she lose her job in the event of a sale of the company, while it told employees that its severance program must be cut because it was "too generous and too charitable."

The Declaration goes on to complain that employees are being compelled to use social media, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to "exploit the Worker's connection to the community for the Corporation's benefit," and "to master the technical attributes of every aspect of journalism." The Guild says overworked employees are suffering more "frequent stress-related illnesses and fatigue," while relying on a stingy health care plans with high deductibles.

The Guild accuses Gannett of being "willfully blind" to workplace abuses that have resulted in the loss of some of its "most experienced and talented workers." The Guild asserts that this mass exodus of workers is welcomed by the company as a way of furthering reducing its payroll costs. The Guild ponders if one day visitors to the newsroom will find nothing but an "army of temp workers" described as "mercenaries of the modern era."

I hope the agitating, protesting and resisting part of this Declaration includes a reprieve from certain reporters and columnists feeding the newspaper's readers with endless propaganda from the downtown mafia.


Anonymous said...

I might add that Gannett is blind to the fact that people primarily buy a local newspaper for the local news...and since they took over The Star, the local news as virtually disappeared. The local coverage is minimal, not worth buying the paper fact it looks like they insert a USA Today in every paper.

Is that so they get their current subscribers to just transition into their USA Today paper which has no local news?

Anonymous said...

When you're not doing real reporting, you don't need real reporters.

Any hack can be a PR shill for Indy.

Anonymous said...

To me, the death of the Indianapolis Star came the day then editor Dennis Ryerson announced that there would no longer be free, anonymous commenting to daily news articles and that from that day forward only Facebook registered and telephone number confirmed commenters could speak. A Tully column that used to attract 200 comments would only get three or four comments under the new registration. Tips disappeared. Real opinion disappeared. Free speech disappeared. The voices of thousands of Indianapolis residents who liked to comment and who liked to read the comments were silenced. Replaced by a few sanitized commenters, with sanitized opinions and Facebook whitewashed accounts. I stopped taking the newspaper. I prefer to give my business to journalists that value free speech and want to hear what the locals have to say. We had a great history of freedom of speech in this country, but we’re losing it fast. We’re being silenced. By Gannett. By the NSA. By Facebook. By a hundred agencies and companies and law enforcement men who chip away at what our freedom of speech used to look like. I’m getting old now. But I remember the way it used to be. Faster and faster we go the way of China, of Iran, of Arab and African and Asian countries where speech is suspect, filtered, and prohibited and where people like bloggers and whistleblowers and free speech advocates are jailed or simply disappear. I will never forgive Gannett for silencing the free voices of the thousands of Indiana citizens who enjoyed commenting to the stories of the day. There won’t be free speech of that kind again until the Gannett paper is replaced by a daily that permits free, anonymous comments. All real journalists believe in unfettered freedom of speech. Indianapolis deserves better than Gannett.

Anonymous said...

Editors knew for two years that Judge Payne was in violation of FSSA/DCS matters and reporters were told to sit on the stories...Can they be held accountable for neglect, abuse and more...The Editors?

LamLawIndy said...

I get more real news from Gary than I get from the Star. Maybe its underpaid reporters should start a blog like AA and begin REAL reporting.

Flogger said...

Anon 7:36 PM good comment on the free anonymous commenting being eliminated by The Star. It had its share of trolls but that's life on the Internet.

We still have greater Freedom here in the USA than some other countries in terms of speech. Two thoughts I have. One we have the Mega McMedia sanitizing what we read or hear. Second, even though we can express ourselves, the ability to change the political environment has greatly diminished. Republicans and Democrats may disagree on some Social Issues, but both parties are united and intertwined in the support of Crony-Capitalism.

We know of the spying by the NSA, etc., but now we have a battle over Net Neutrality. As if the sanitized McMedia is not enough, we now have forces that want to establish a "Fast Lane" Internet. Of course it will be a Pay to Play fast lane. The Mega McMedia will be able afford the fast lane.

The Mega-Media controls the content, the NSA and their fellow travelers spy on us, and the Third Rail is the Internet Fast Lane.

Pete Boggs said...

Incestuous & slavish devotion to a statist narrative, by the Cleverly Quill Billies of "modern journalism," resulted in the non-investment grade, lame-stream medi-uhh; predictably losing out to blogs like this one.

Anon 7:36 is right about the Ryerson / Gannett comment wall; insidiously constructed during the property tax fiasco of 2007, when there was talk of repeal. Nothin' scares a quill billy more than talk of Constitutionally reconciled government & tax repeal...