Trouble At The Washington Post

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Maybe this is why newspapers have not arrived in my building since Saturday.

The mail-room employees of the Washington Post (not to be confused with the layout employees, which is who I originally thought production employees were) have launched a massive advertising campaign, bashing the Post. Granted, the Post has weathered union battles much more fierce than this. In 1975, the printing press employees destroyed the presses and then went on strike which lasted 139 days and ended up allowing the Post to free itself from the printer's union. The signs on that picket line included one notorious one which proclaimed "Phil Shot The Wrong Graham." (referring Katherine Graham's husband's suicide).

While these signs now reference Katherine Graham's son, who is now the chairman of the company, they seem slightly less crass and more professionally designed. Still (where you can see most of the other signs) strikes me as very bitter and angry.

Here is the Post's coverage of it, which is really where I have most of my real information. (apparently whenever they write about themselves, it is always on D4). I was struck by the fact that they only had a spokeswoman comment, when clearly the Post can presumable get comment from whomever they want at the Post. A friend suggested it shows how much weight the Post is giving this issue.

But it was this paragraph that made me want to cry:

"The newspaper is the flagship of The Washington Post Co., which Chairman Donald E. Graham recently rebranded as an "education and media company" to reflect the rise of Kaplan Inc. within the company and the decline of the newspaper."

Come on! You can't put media first to show importance? Or at least for old time's sake?

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