Star Tribune reporter offers inside view of paper in disarray


Earlier this morning, CP's Emily Kaiser suggested that the Star Tribune could take a lesson from the daily in Seattle by being more transparent about how the newspaper's impending bankruptcy is affecting the newsgathering operation.

Now we have an answer, thanks to a blog unaffiliated with the Strib.

The Same Rowdy Crowd asked Bill McAuliffe to pen the tell-all, and it's filled with all kinds of depressing references including a comparison to the Chapel of Bones.

On seeing colleagues takeing buy-outs:

It's a bipolar existence here. The other day, in a walk from my desk to the news library, I had to say good bye (good buy?) to four people. Long-timers, valued colleagues, reliable glue. And good people. For many who took the buyout, it's a positive thing. They're moving on to something else, either new jobs (in a few cases), or more time with the family, or school, or a sort of early retirement. You gotta be happy for them.

On doing more with less, when you don't even know what the goal is:

Meanwhile, we'll have to figure out how to accomplish the work we think needs doing - once we decide what that is. More investigations? You betcha! But don't we have to fill some suburban zone sections? Who's going to cover for the copy editors and team leaders who are leaving or have left? So we rotate reporters into Terry Collins' general assignment swing shift, or Bennie Cohen's obituary job. That takes them off their regular duties for a day a week. Lost continuity, distraction, confused sources, missed or late stories - they will follow.
The bit about the "more investigations" seems like a not-so-veiled nod to this recent editorial by his boss, Nancy Barnes.