Saturday, April 09, 2005

You May Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

Regarding yesterday's post about the newspaper union's control over content at the Star Tribune, Rebecca from Ohio writes in with some sage advice on getting some expertise back into reporting. First her sage observations on Fraters Libertas:

I read Fraters Libertas frequently. I'm in Toledo, Ohio and we have our own problems with our local paper, The Toledo Blade. I love reading about how your website has taken on the Star Tribune and exposing their bias. We need that here.

Yesterday's post on No Experts Need Apply was an eye-opener. I knew newspapers had unions, but did not know they dictated like other unions on who, what, when, where, (no why) an article is placed in a newspaper. After reading the new rules I wonder: Did the union make a big loophole that a semi could drive through by writing:

"The parties are to follow the present practice of not using freelance expert news articles in the A Section of the Star Tribune or in any part of the B Section of the Star Tribune, except the weather page.

If circumstances arise wherein the Company proposes the placement of a freelance expert news article in either the A Section of the Star Tribune or a part of the B Section of the Star Tribune, other than the weather page, the company shall obtain from the Guild a consent prior to said placement."

Couldn't the Star Tribune simply place all articles written by any expert of any topic on the weather page next to the{humidity, wind chill, and "cover your tomatoes"}  and other weather data? Makes me smile to think of it. The weather page in Minneapolis would become my must-read section for sure for reasons other than just the weather.

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