Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thoughts for the New Year

Hey Guys,

Another year has come and gone and here we are with the calendar spread out blank once again. I just wanted to steal a quick moment to let you know what's going on on the union front and thank you once again for all your hard work. We definitely went through our share of challenges in 2006, but as always, you guys stepped up and made it through in fine form.

This is a lousy time in the newspaper business, without question. Whether it was layoffs, corporate disarray or consolidation, it felt like just one long stream of bad news in our industry last year. Given that this job isn't easy even during happier times, it's all the more remarkable that y'all have kept at it throughout. Though our resources are strapped and our newshole keeps shrinking, we still manage to put out a damn good paper every day.

With that in mind, I want to thank the people who'll never get enough praise for the work they do. I use this blog to shine the light on reporters and photographers sometimes-- never enough, but I try to highlight good work by our members when I get a chance-- but I never can thank the workhorses of this paper enough. So rather than highlight particular pieces of work, let me just take this time to say thanks to the copy editors, designers, web folks and everyone else who slaves to get this content out every day. You're the ones who give up your nights, weekends and holidays to keep us in business and we all owe you, so thank you, not only to our members, but to everyone who puts in that laudable effort.

As we step into 2007, I'm sure we'll face more challenges and good times as well, but I have a good feeling about where we're headed. Whether it's adapting to new technology, as a number have you have done with blogs, videos and podcasts, or finding new ways to streamline the work, you guys keep fighting to keep us alive. Though this can be a frightening period at times as newspapers struggle to adapt to a changing market, you guys keep looking for ways to survive. Hopefully, we'll be the ones to figure out how to change and stay essential-- and I think that we will.

With that in mind, our union has been changing and staying proactive, as well. In this past year, we've added new members, branched into different parts of the newsroom, certified a new steward and cultivated a stronger relationship with management. When times were bad, especially during the layoff worries during the fall, we were able to find ways to help our members and minimize the damage to editorial. And when things were looking up, we've looked for ways to prepare for the road ahead. As a result of our discussions with management, we've been able to get new equipment and training for the staff.

And in 2007, we'll be continuing to reach out. In a few weeks, we'll be meeting with our counterparts at other papers throughout the state to discuss ways to work together more closely in this ever-shrinking biz. We'll keep looking for ways to better represent you at the Daily News and will be on the lookout for ways to keep evolving. Your suggestions are always welcome and appreciated.

So that's my soapbox for one evening. Thanks again for everything and best of luck to everyone in the year ahead.



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