Whether Star Tribune readers will notice or care is anyone's guess at the moment, but the byline strike at the news organization's Web site and newspaper has started. No staffers' names will appear over stories or under photographs today.
The Star Tribune Newspaper Guild, representing newsroom workers, as well as those in promotions and circulation, called for the action. The idea is to draw attention to the impending loss of almost 30 newsroom jobs, honor those workers, and express dissatisfaction that the pain was not spread equally throughout the newsroom.
Editor Nancy Barnes says the reduction are necessary for "the reorganization of the way we do our work. That means elimination of some jobs, and creation of different jobs to meet the needs of the new workflows."
Her decision to eliminate copyeditors -- accompanied by a mandate for reporters to start using spellcheck software -- drew barbs from the Columbia Journalism Review, a national media watchdog.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, journalists in the Star Tribune Newspaper Guild will remove their bylines from their stories in the newspaper and on www.startribune.com to pay tribute to colleagues who are losing their jobs in a workforce reduction.
In coming weeks, 29 copy editors, photographers, photo lab assistants, photo editors, wire and web editors, copy desk chiefs, news assistants and graphics technicians will leave the newspaper through buyouts and layoffs. Together, they represent hundreds of years of service to the Star Tribune.
"These employees may be nameless to our readers, but they represent the very core of our operation. This action is intended to show our deep gratitude and respect to our co-workers who are leaving," said Janet Moore and David Chanen, co-chairs of the Star Tribune Newspaper Guild.
The union represents about 270 journalists.
The Guild's union contract protects the right of members to remove their bylines from stories in protest.