Thursday, August 7, 2008

Got water?

 It's definitely bad when your local weekly newspaper is able to do 7 page story about your paper's problems but it's worse when you're sending memo like this out :

From: Marcum, Kim
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Subject: Water update

Next week, you'll need to BYOB -- of water, that is. Beginning next week, the bottled water service will be discontinued at the Kissimmee and Orange City bureaus.Just so you know.....

Thanks,
Kim

Yikes! Or to quote one staffer: "Unbelievable!" What's next BYOB copier paper, one square of toilet paper per person, share your pens. Does anybody have a tourniquet? 

Seriously, though I hear everyone who's saying "I never even had  that luxury where I work", apparently they did... and now they don't. So, while this is clearly not the end of the world, it's just one more thing stacked on the big wall of cutbacks and cutoffs. In other words, it's certainly not a good sign for those bureaus or the Orlando Sentinel in general.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok - there are lots of stuff to complain about, but this is a little bit scraping. It's not like they are making people bring on their own light bulbs or are turining off the air conditioning.
They are just cutting off bottles water delivery, not shutting off water tothe building. How many departments downtown have water service? not many

Anonymous said...

Hope the above posting wasn't from someone on the copy desk...

Anonymous said...

yikes ... next thing you know, they'll unplug the capuccino machine and fire the crepes chef.

Anonymous said...

Crepes in Kissimmee? Please keep these posts serious.

Anonymous said...

At the LA Times I couldn't get replacement bulbs for my desk lamp (yeah, my corner of the newsroom was that dark), so I finally gave up and bought my own light bulbs.

Anonymous said...

None of the papers I worked for ever provided water to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Well, a key question would be if the office provided water fountains, or a break area with water facilities.

Perhaps it doesn't, if water had to be provided in the first place.

My office, which is in downtown Orlando, DOES provide bottled water.

rknil said...

Find out if there is some sort of water available. If not, I guarantee it's an actionable situation.

rknil said...

I created another survey where people can share their stories about things that have happened in the newsroom. It's here:

http://www.wenalway.com/survey/survey.php?s_id=24

Nancy Imperiale said...

Jesus, people! Save your umbrage for what matters.

There was one of those water coolers in the bureau with jugs you flip over and stick on it. I'm sure that monthly cost is what's being eliminated.

I don't know the story in Osceola, but the Volusia bureau went from having dozens of people in Editorial and Advertising to, I think, one reporter? Maybe 2?

Hardly unreasonable cuts.

I'm the first to spank the Sentinel for its many lunatic actions, but I don't think any Sentinel employees are in danger of imminent dehydration. lol!

rknil said...

Which is why I said they should find out if there are drinking fountains. The place has to make some sort of drinking water available.

Lots of journalists here. Someone who's in the area should be able to answer this question.

Anonymous said...

If you ever saw mud come from the pipes in Kissimmee you would understand the bottled water.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where to post this. I just learned, to my outrage, of a stunt in the Senttinel that is either an incident of incredibly sloppy journalism or an indication of the new editorial/publishing/ownership philosophy. There was a story recently on the elderly 78 year old man the Sentinel located who claimed to be the caddy in the photo at Dubsdread that caused so much consternation in some quarters. I sure read the story as a first hand account by the actual caddy in the photo. It turns out that the caption under the photo dates it in 1930. The 78 year old subject of the story at best was an infant in 1930.

Anonymous said...

If you want a real blog post, you should try comparing the Sentinel's coverage of the last presidential election (i.e. staff stories) to its coverage this year.

As far as I can tell, there's no one really covering the Florida angle.

Anonymous said...

On the surface, a memo about water bottles might not seem to have much of a connection to coverage of the presidential race.

And frankly, I didn't think of it until I saw the above post. But cutbacks are at the root of both issues.

A lot of talent writers and editors have flooded out of the Sentinel. There are fewer journalists who can intelligently break down the national issues into areas of interest for Central Florida's diverse community.

This is occurring against the backdrop of one of the most critical elections in our nation's history.

Bless those left at the Sentinel who are truly trying to do their job. But it doesn't appear to me that voters will be well-served by The Sentinel in this election. And that's a dangerous situation no matter which side of the ballot box you are own.

Anonymous said...

I work at the Sentinel and I go to the cafeteria to buy my water. I'm pissed to hear you have been getting free water all this time. HOW IS THAT FAIR??? Most companies don't offer free water so it's kind of silly that you are making such a big deal about this.

Robert said...

"I work at the Sentinel and I go to the cafeteria to buy my water. I'm pissed to hear you have been getting free water all this time. HOW IS THAT FAIR??? Most companies don't offer free water so it's kind of silly that you are making such a big deal about this."

All reasonable companies offer free water. It's called a drinking fountain. If that water is not drinkable, then something has to be offered in its place. There has to be potable water available somewhere.

Anonymous said...

It said the BOTTLED WATER SERVICE WAS GOING TO BE DISCONTINUED. So what's the big deal??? Use the water fountain like everyone else or bring your own bottled water from home.

Anonymous said...

From the Chicago Tribune

Tribune 2Q profit sinks $4.5B on accounting charge

Tribune staff reporter
1:16 PM EDT, August 13, 2008
Tribune Co. reported a $4.53 billion second-quarter loss after the Chicago media holding company recorded a $3.84 billion accounting-related charge.

The charge, taken to write down the value of intangible assets known as goodwill in its publishing group, is "nearly all" related to the company's 2000 acquisition of Times Mirror Co., Tribune noted.

Tribune went private in December, through a leveraged buyout engineered by real estate magnate Sam Zell. But the debt-heavy company continues to disclose its results, because some of its bonds continue to trade publicly.

In the latest quarter, Tribune's revenues dropped 5.7 percent to $1.11 billion from $1.18 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Anonymous said...

The bottled water was the only perk of working in that Osceola bureau, trust me....That being said, from what I understand, there are barely any bodies left in good old Kissimmee to hydrate, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of public education! Teachers have been doing more with less and less for 50 years. This made me laugh out loud. Yes, actually, teachers have brought their own toilet paper, soap, writing paper, bandaids, etc., so children could get through the school day with a modicum of civility.

Bottled water service? Yes, we can purchase a bottle of water in the cafeteria for $1, if we wish!!!

Best of luck with this terrible situation (not the water thing)at The Sentinel. We support all efforts of employees totally.

Member of Classroom Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers, and American Education Association

Anonymous said...

Is Robyn Motley gay?

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