Explain this to me

The reporters’ union at the Washington Post is having issues with the Post’s contract offer, so they’re having a byline strike.

The reporters’ union is mad because the reporters are not getting paid at all for their web stories, and don’t feel that’s fair. Which is true, but most newspapers (I’m not sure about the Post, though) lose money like crazy on their websites. There’s also some chafing on when people can quit the union, whenever they want or with in a 30-day annual period.

Essentially, what this means is that the reporters, as a protest against the company, have taken their bylines off of all their stories so that the stories written by members of the union simply say “By A Washington Post Staff Writer.” Some reporters have also pledged not to file anything for the web site.

Let me see if I have this straight:

Reporters, tired of not getting credit and pay, have decided to…not give themselves credit for 5 days of their work.

I tried getting Coop, who works for CNN.com, to explain this to me. His response:

“It deprives the paper of the names of its typically big name writers. A lot of people argue that approach isn’t effective because people don’t care. But the union thinks they do, which is probably right about the front section.”

They may have something of a point with the Post, since a lot of their reporters are known names, but I still think it’s stupid to protest not getting credit for your work by not giving yourself credit for it in the first place.

Anyone else got a better explanation?

Leave a Reply