Read this Advt, Salute fallen colleagues

A Newsroom's Salute to Its Departed
Newspapers occasionally publish ads congratulating themselves for various achievements. But a most unusual ad appeared last week
in The Star Tribune of Minneapolis with a less upbeat message, honoring — and naming — newsroom employees who had left the newspaper in wave after wave of staff cuts.

By Richard Perez-Pena
Published: February 14, 2010
The New York Times

The ad was conceived, designed and paid for by the colleagues they had left behind, who still put out the paper.
The Star Tribune has endured more than its share of turmoil, changing hands twice since 2006. Layoffs and buyouts cut the number of employees in half in the span of a few years. The newsroom contracted to about 250 people from about 400. The employees who remain have absorbed pay and benefit cuts.
The latest staff cut prompted a byline strike, in which reporters withheld their names from articles, late last month, organized by the Newspaper Guild.
Mary Abbe, an arts critic, said it was around that time that she had the idea for the ad. "I just thought, 'What can we do that is a gesture of support for these people?' " she said. "A byline strike is kind of an internal concept that doesn't really mean anything to our readers."
Jane Friedmann, a reporter and researcher, designed the ad, which noted the departure of many people and said, "We thank especially the more than 140 newsroom employees who have left the paper in the past three years," followed by a list of names.
Employees took up a collection to cover the $3,225 cost of placing the ad. "Not everybody participated," Ms. Abbe said. "There were people who didn't want to give money back to the company." David Brauer, who writes on local media for a website called it "feeding the hand that bites you".
But the ad does not criticize The Star Tribune's management or ownership, past or present, and the paper did not take issue with it. "We know that the economic circumstances are frankly awful, so the intent was not to slap the company," Ms. Abbe said. "We want the company to succeed."

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