Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

McClellan: No Free Parking in the New Economy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

McClellan: No Free Parking in the New Economy

Article excerpt

Brant Hadfield had a nice job in the Old Economy. He was a news cameraman for Channel 30.

That was a union job. Hadfield was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Being a union member, he not only made decent money, he had benefits. Very Old Economy.

He lost that job in October 2001 when Channel 30 dropped its local news.

I was there for the station's final newscast. The anchors were Rick Edlund and Gina Kurre. I do not remember the station manager's name, but I remember he threatened to have me arrested for trespassing. He said I was not authorized to be in the newsroom. I ignored him. I figured he was just embarrassed because the station was dropping its local news.

Forty-seven people lost their jobs that night.

Looking back on things, there was no reason for the station manager to be embarrassed. The station was a pioneer of sorts, taking an early plunge into the New Economy. Cut, cut, cut.

Hadfield did not get on with another station. Many of the young television reporters are called "backpack journalists." They carry their own cameras, and they are reporters, photographers and editors rolled into one.

Multiple jobs, one salary. It makes sense.

Hadfield is now 44 years old. He has a New Economy job. He does freelance video production. He is currently working on a project for the state in which he is chronicling the Civil War battle in which freed slaves first fought for the Union. The freed slaves were members of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers. They fought at the Battle of Island Mound in far western Missouri.

Hadfield has been doing his film editing at a friend's loft in downtown St. Louis.

He parks in a lot at 14th Street between Locust and St. Charles streets. There are 61 spots in the lot. On a recent Friday morning, Hadfield parked his 2000 Volkswagen Jetta in the lot. He told me he put a $5 bill in the appropriate slot. That is another hallmark of the New Economy, unattended parking lots. You put your money in a slot.

In this particular lot, there is a sign above the slots. "Park and lock your own car. No in and out privileges. Cars parked at owners' risk. We assume no responsibility for any article left in any automobile or for any loss by theft or any automobile or any part thereof, or for any damage which may be caused by any automobile or part thereof, or by fire, by trespassing, by any patron of the company or otherwise. …

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