Joe Kenehan Center

Monday, June 30, 2003
As The Sun Goes Down
Mystery writer and former Baltimore Sun journalist Laura Lippman’s Slate diary week happened to coincide with the week that her ex-colleagues at the Sun were forced into a corner in their contract negotiations. They voted to swallow a concessionary contract.

Lippman vividly describes the hard choices that American workers—including well educated, highly-skilled professionals—are asked to make these days. Here’s Lipmman on the Sun’s plan to introduce a merit pay system. Under this system, the newspaper could:

“[F]or example, assign me to cover a courthouse where cameras aren't allowed, then give me a lukewarm job evaluation because I didn't produce enough feature stories with photographs. (This really happened to a friend at the Sun a few years back.) One manager—fondly nicknamed the Reich Marshal—is chatting up reporters, insisting they would benefit under the new system. I'm not sure about my friends, but I know the Reich Marshal would be happier. After all, his craven style would be less noticeable in a newsroom where everyone had to suck up.

Here are her Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday entries.