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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Interesting


What I’m proposing here is an advisory-only referendum because I wanted to get your thoughts, but I am reserving the right to make the final decision myself.

* The Question: Should CapitolFax.com honor the Chicago Tribune Guild’s picket line tomorrow and not post any stories from the paper? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please. Thanks.

…Adding… The poll is now closed.

       

64 Comments
  1. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:35 pm:

    I only rarely weigh in on our questions here, but I do want to point out that I’ve never knowingly crossed a union picket line, and I’m not sure I want to start now.


  2. - Livco - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:36 pm:

    Voted yes to honor the work that far too few do these days because groups like Alden have stripped newsrooms and degraded the product.


  3. - Da big bad wolf - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:36 pm:

    Voted yes. Because an injury to one is an injury to all.


  4. - The Truth - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:40 pm:

    I mean…if you post something tomorrow won’t it be day-old news, by definition?


  5. - Gregory Royal Pratt - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:40 pm:

    Long time listener, first time caller. We are walking out with hundreds of journalists across the country at Tribune newspapers. Please don’t cross the picket line. Thanks for all your support. Keep up the great work.


  6. - snowman61 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:42 pm:

    Voted yes, The company needs to know that the community supports these Journalists and make the company to sit down and negotiate a decent contract!!!!


  7. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:43 pm:

    Yes, and I would go so far as to say not to share stories published early the *next* day either since they were generated over the protests of a walked-out staff.


  8. - the 647 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:43 pm:

    I voted yes. I think that by posting the links you are encouraging people to cross a picket line, or at least making it easier for them, which I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing.


  9. - Actual Red - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:45 pm:

    Voted yes. Solidarity is the only way for working people to improve their lot.


  10. - Kelly Cassidy - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:46 pm:

    A line is a line.


  11. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:47 pm:

    If you engage with Trib’s social media tomorrow at all, it should only be to endorse and support the strikers.


  12. - Stark - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:47 pm:

    Yes - you don’t cross picket lines virtually or otherwise.


  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:50 pm:

    Are the Tribune sports writers part of the Guild? I can live without most Tribune news coverage for a day, but I can’t eat lunch without the sports page open.

    I’m conflicted.


  14. - Dotnonymous x - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:51 pm:

    What Kelly Cassidy said…100%.

    Voted Yes.


  15. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:53 pm:

    I voted yes, mostly because I am still a union member and I still refuse to cross a picket line.


  16. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:53 pm:

    Yes, please, honor it. Cap Fax has always been a union friendly blog. Great to remain in that spirit.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’ve crossed a picket line once in my life, and that was when my best friend was murdered in high school, to console my fellow classmates. But that was not my reason for voting in favor of honoring the picket line.

    Capitolfax’s success is proof that good political reporting matters to a lot of people, and to the sound functioning of government. For as long as I have been a reader, about 27 years now, Capitolfax has been a consistent champion for quality political and government reporting, whether at the statehouse or city hall, school boards, libraries or county government.

    That advocacy has been regardless of whether the journalists were unionized. And I hope Capitolfax will continue to be a consistent and forceful advocate for quality political and government reporting.

    “Our republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mold the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalism of future generations.” - Joseph Pulitzer


  18. - Franklin - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:54 pm:

    If the House Democrats Staff union goes on strike will you stop covering the GA in solidarity?


  19. - DHS Drone - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:54 pm:

    Yes
    Solidarity Forever


  20. - Fayette County - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:54 pm:

    Supporting journalists who are only trying to improve their lives, and who provide all of us with valuable information daily, is an important step to take. It will not improve unless we all support the picket line.


  21. - Panther Pride - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:55 pm:

    Voted yes for all of the reasons already mentioned.


  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===will you stop covering the GA in solidarity? ===

    It’s an interesting question, but they’ve apparently agreed not to strike during session, so I don’t think it’s a good comparison.


  23. - Homebody - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    Seems like you already know the answer based on your first comment Rich.


  24. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 1:58 pm:

    Yes. Unions are the best defense aganist the Gordon Gekkos of the world.


  25. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:00 pm:

    Yes, the Trib product is sad to see. Hire and pay more quality journalists.


  26. - TJ - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:00 pm:

    Yes. My hunch is that anything notable that they post either a) will be covered by someone else as well anyway, or b) be so inconsequential overall that discussion of which can wait if necessary to a later date.


  27. - GV - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:01 pm:

    I work in a job that receives constant media inquiries and outs out countless press releases daily. We pride ourselves in standing in solidarity with journalists exercising their rights to collectively bargain by not engaging with media organizations when they do walkouts, etc. I’d strongly support you to do the same.

    Solidarity yesterday, today, forever.


  28. - The Opinions Bureau - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:01 pm:

    Absolutely. If the reporters are asking us not to read, I’m with them.


  29. - allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:07 pm:

    Voted no. Because I just don’t know enough details. I am a voracious consumer of news, but I need to know what it is I am supporting.


  30. - Dotnonymous x - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:10 pm:

    - A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. - Joseph Pulitzer

    Prescient…and bone chillingly accurate.


  31. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:18 pm:

    I voted yes. No just solidarity, but supporting the entire journalism industry against “vulture capitalists.”


  32. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:23 pm:

    I am not a big union guy but a am becoming one. Until some of these big CEO with their golden parachute go to jail for fraud and corruption I am now with the unions
    And Rich if you don’t cross lines why start now? And with Alden of all companies.


  33. - H-W - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:25 pm:

    I voted yes, but for purely moral reasons.

    If we rely upon workers who produce the news and dismiss their claims that they perceive themselves to be exploited, then we morally align ourselves with and become allies of those who are perceived as exploiting; not with the exploited.

    Purely moral reasoning on my part. Your choice is your own, and because I already know you to be a person of good will and good intentions, I trust your decision and respect it in either case.


  34. - vern - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:25 pm:

    I voted yes. A line is a line, but there’s even more incentive in this situation. This blog directly benefits from the work these reporters do. Their labor appears in morning and afternoon roundups, inspires questions of the day, and informs weekly columns. They’re one of the raw material suppliers here. Without their labor, we’d all know less about Illinois politics, including Rich and Isabel.


  35. - Chito - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:26 pm:

    I vote “YES”. Any clicks generated here benefit an organization that hasn’t done right by the very employees that are its raison d’etre. Without the staff, there is no content.


  36. - Steve - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:29 pm:

    I voted no. The show must go on. If Trib. employees want to strike that’s fine. It’s they want to go into a another profession that’s fine. No one is entitled to prevent an organization from operating.


  37. - Dunwich Snorer - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:39 pm:

    Yes–a picket line is still a picket line even when it’s virtual.


  38. - JoanP - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 2:58 pm:

    I voted “yes”, particularly after reading your comment, Rich.

    I’m taking an additional step. I’m old school and still get the print edition, but it will stay in its plastic sleeve. At least I’ll have the NYT to read with my breakfast.


  39. - Anon324 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:00 pm:

    Voted yes. It’s less about the picket line for me than it is an opportunity to back up words with action. This blog has frequently and rightly pointed out the numerous and substantial societal negatives that are created when newsrooms are decimated by corporate greed. This is an opportunity to stand with those whose work is the backbone of those newsrooms.


  40. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:06 pm:

    “No one is entitled to prevent an organization from operating.”

    As consumers we have a choice of where and how to spend our time and money. A business is not entitled to customers either.


  41. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:07 pm:

    Your site, your decision.

    You can likely find similar stories from other sources.


  42. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    Journalists provide access to the truth. Without journalists, we as a society founder in the abyss of noise.

    “There is no sense in the struggle, but there is no choice but to struggle.” Ernie Pyle


  43. - FamilyTimer - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:28 pm:

    Voted Yes, but mainly thinking about Isabel here, which wasn’t the question and not my business. Apologies.


  44. - Jeremy Rosen - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:31 pm:

    Yes. And as someone else said your first comment answers the question. From what I’ve seen on Twitter / X what the Trib’s journalists are asking is to not read the paper in print or online, or use materials from it, for a 24 hour period. They aren’t demanding that you stop covering the GA or do anything else. Seems like an easy call.


  45. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:32 pm:

    Will the Tribune be filled with all Associated Press generated articles during the strike? Isn’t that pretty a large part of the newspaper and its website these days? How does one avoid AP stories other than skipping over them that may also appear in the Trib? Or is AP and other third party vendors (New York Times, ProPublica etc.) also on the line here?


  46. - Lurker - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:42 pm:

    Normally, I’d vote no as it is not your strike but in this case, the workers are so correct about the way newspapers and journalists have been treated that I think supporting them is the ethical thing to do. Also, just from a business standpoint, I am pretty sure you must as most commenters, and I’d thusly assume most readers and subscribers, are staunch Democrats. I don’t think you want to alienate them.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:48 pm:

    ===Isn’t that pretty a large part of the newspaper and its website these days? ===

    Not for state news.


  48. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:49 pm:

    This was my first thought when I read about the strike. I am the granddaughter of a coal miner, the daughter of a public school teacher, and a former member of the Newspaper Guild. I won’t be clicking on the Trib tomorrow.


  49. - stateandlake - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:51 pm:

    Yes. Supporting print journalists is critical and so is honoring the picket line.


  50. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:53 pm:

    Voted yes because while I don’t know the details of their conflict, I know enough about Alden.


  51. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 3:53 pm:

    I voted yes to honor strike, but I question whether destroying the brand is the best way to address the Guild’s complaints. It seems big picture the problem is that they are owned by a hedge fund.


  52. - Curious George - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:05 pm:

    Will other local publications honor the strike?


  53. - northsider (the original) - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:19 pm:

    Voted yes.
    An independent press is vital for democracy.
    Solidarity.


  54. - George Ryan Reynolds - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:23 pm:

    I voted yes. Honoring their picket line is the right thing to do if you support organized labor.


  55. - Joand315 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:26 pm:

    Yes, the simplest answer is not to cross a pocket line. However, I believe that the integrity of the news industry is also at stake.


  56. - Hannibal Lecter - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:45 pm:

    Considering that I don’t read the Tribune normally, it shouldn’t be hard to continue with that course of action tomorrow.


  57. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:49 pm:

    My vote would have been yes.


  58. - steve b - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 4:58 pm:

    I just plain tired of strike and threats. UPS threatened and finally voted for contract. Yesterday laid off 12000.


  59. - flea - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 5:05 pm:

    yes


  60. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 5:06 pm:

    ===Yesterday laid off 12000. ===

    The company reported a 7.4% drop in average daily volume domestically and an 8.3% decrease internationally.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/30/ups-reports-drop-in-package-volume-stock-tumbles.html


  61. - Hank Sauer - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 6:47 pm:

    Yes , but I wonder how many of those commenting are actually still subscribing


  62. - Joe - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 9:29 pm:

    I abstained, but I am asking those who comment more writers should be hired and paid more are willing to pay more for their Trib subscription?


  63. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 31, 24 @ 9:52 pm:

    Late to the game, busy day. Yes. Workers need to support workers. The money hoarders respect one thing: money. When workers unite, we have power. I appreciate your support.


  64. - Ugh - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:23 am:

    Years ago my daughter took her first trip to Europe, arrived middle of the night to her hostel, after flight delays, exhausted, dragging luggage for a whole summer, finds a picket line out front. She called and asked what to do. You better bet she dragged that luggage across the city to find a hostel without striking workers out front. I know you would do the same and I’m guessing you won’t post Tribune stories tomorrow.


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