Journalism is a noble profession. But it is also a business that needs to be healthy and sustainable. No one is disputing that. There isn’t one person at IndyStar who doesn’t want to be working for a successful, profitable organization.
The industry and Gannett ask more and more of journalists: Produce a video and a gallery on deadline? Check. Optimize stories for SEO? Check. Live tweet from an event and then turn around and write a sophisticated story? Check. Engage with readers on social media? Check. Analyze metrics? Check.
They do all this even as their profession is under attack. They do all this knowing there is no guarantee they won’t be laid off.
And what are members of the Indianapolis News Guild asking for in return? To be valued and treated with respect. It is unconscionable to withhold merit raises from journalists who excel at their craft. It is wrong for Gannett to contribute less to their health care than they do other employees.
I worked at The Indianapolis Star for almost 30 years. These journalists, both Guild members and managers, are dedicated to this community. They sacrifice time with their loved ones to be our watchdogs and storytellers.
They deserve a fair contract from Gannett.
I stand with IndyStar journalists.
Jenny Morlan worked for The Indianapolis Star for nearly three decades. She most recently served as the editor for the IndyStar North Team.