Pulitzer Net Income Up by 20%; Newspaper Guild Charges Hiring Freeze, Lack of Contract Is "Demoralizing." (Pulitzer Publishing Co.; St. Louis Newspaper Guild)

By Downs, Peter | St. Louis Journalism Review, May 1994 | Go to article overview

Pulitzer Net Income Up by 20%; Newspaper Guild Charges Hiring Freeze, Lack of Contract Is "Demoralizing." (Pulitzer Publishing Co.; St. Louis Newspaper Guild)


Downs, Peter, St. Louis Journalism Review


The St. Louis Newspaper Guild took its Campaign for Justice to the Pulitzer Company's annual shareholders meeting on May 11. Workers present branded the Pulitzer Company and family as hypocrites.

Guild members contrast the company's claimed commitment to good journalism with cutbacks in the newsroom staff. They contrast the credit the company takes for the charitable and volunteer community work of employees with the company's failure to support such work or match employee contributions. They contrast their wage freeze last year with the 29 percent increase in salary and bonuses for Michael Pulitzer, chief executive officer of Pulitzer Publishing Co.

The 517 members of the St. Louis Newspaper Guild at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch began the Campaign for Justice after more than one year of negotiations failed to budge management from initial demands for 108 union concessions. The employees' intervention at the Pulitzer stockholders' meeting was the latest of half a dozen public actions by Guild members.

A two and one-half hour rally outside the Post building launched the campaign. Virginia Hick, Post reporter and overall coordinator of the campaign, says the rally was as much an effort to "sign people up" as it was a message to management. Over 100 members signed up to work on a campaign committee. Three hundred and three employees signed an open letter to the directors of the Pulitzer Publishing Co. Seventy signed up to handbill the St. Louis Cardinals home opener. It was rained out, but they passed out leaflets at the April 17 game. Guild members also distributed informational cards to visiting journalists at a regional meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held in conjunction with national writing workshops co-sponsored by the Post. One hundred members signed up to raise money for Walk America under the Guild's name instead of the Post's. Employees donated to SPJ's legal defense fund auction as Guild members. And the Guild sponsored and presented writing awards at the St. Louis Science Fair. Hick explains "we were irritated at the Post-Dispatch for taking credit for employees' charitable work, when they don't even match our contributions."

The idea of going to the stockholders' meeting, says Tim O'Neill, reporter and member of the Guild negotiating team, originated with reporters in the financial section. A shareholders committee was set up with Jerri Stroud, financial reporter and owner of 220 shares of Pulitzer stock, as the chairwoman. Forty-two other Guild members also own stock in the company.

The Guild's presence at the annual meeting, says O'Neill, is part of a strategy of going wherever Pulitzer hosts an event to remind management that it still must resolve issues with its employees, and the employees are not willing to sit quietly until management finds it convenient to deal with them. Stroud says the specific purpose of attending the shareholder's meeting was to "let the shareholders hear the people who make Pulitzer great, and tell them that if they don't treat those people well, they are jeopardizing the profitability of the Post-Dispatch."

Approximately 12 Guild members attended the meeting, but only half of them went inside. The rest stayed outside to distribute leaflets to shareholders. Joe Pollack, president of the St. Louis Guild, says the union wanted "an appearance, not a mass demonstration." The reason, he says, was "to keep this on a professional basis."

Hick, who did not attend the stockholders' meeting, says the profitability of the Post is endangered by management draining money from St. Louis to buy TV stations elsewhere. "They're putting less" into the paper, she says, and quality already has suffered with less news and a sloppier published product. "More typos are getting into the paper, and you see repetitions and disjointed sentences" because overworked copy editors don't have time to finish editing every story. Even worse, she says, is that management is replacing beat reporters with stringers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pulitzer Net Income Up by 20%; Newspaper Guild Charges Hiring Freeze, Lack of Contract Is "Demoralizing." (Pulitzer Publishing Co.; St. Louis Newspaper Guild)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.