Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Don't bite the hand that feeds you

Romenesko has posted the text of a message from the internal message board of the Minneapolis Star Tribune admonishing employees who have been taking newspapers from the vending boxes placed throughout the Tribune building without paying for them.

A few weeks ago, the paper began offering employees an electronic copy of the newspaper that is sent via e-mail. There is also the option of purchasing a paper from a vending box or taking advantage of home delivery, which is offered at half price, the cost of which can be deducted automatically from the employee's paycheck.

Apparently, the new system is having problems being accepted, because in the first week of offering the electronic version, "43 percent of the Star Tribunes removed from those racks were not paid for. For the second week the rate was 41 percent," says Steve Alexander, senior vice president for Circulation. "This is called `pilferage' in our business; but put more plainly, it is theft, pure and simple."

Alexander adds that paying for one copy and then taking as many papers as you like is also unacceptable. Employees who do so are risking their jobs and those who see others taking papers are encouraged to confront them. The Tribune's policy on such actions is "zero tolerance."


Blogger Cindy said...

OK, I'm confused. Did the employees get free paper copies in the past?

8:25 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Sorry for not clarifying this in my post. Yes, they did receive free papers before, I assume they were available in the newsroom. That's been my experience when visiting other papers. There is generally a central location where the day's papers are placed and anyone coming through the newsroom is free to take one.

Romenesko posted some of the letters he's received about the Star Tribune's new policy, some agree with it vehemently, while others denounce it, with one gentleman named Dave Cohen saying
"If someone ever enacted a policy like that at my paper, I would certainly commence pilferage."
You can


8:51 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Ooooh, ok. I can certainly see both sides of the issue then.

3:05 PM  

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