Pretty significant fallout from yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer headline blunder.
If you missed the story, the paper received a ton of blowback after writing the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” for an Inga Saffron piece about the destruction of city property during the rioting and looting that spun off the George Floyd demonstrations. It’s actually a very fair and reasonable story from the Pulitzer-winning Saffron but was instantly buried because of the headline, which was written by somebody else.
The paper changed the wording and apologized, but apparently that was not enough to assuage concerns, because Inquirer employees issued an open letter to management and are calling out of work today.
Here’s the statement being shared on social media:
The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia, which represents Inquirer writers, echoed those sentiments in a statement of their own.
I talked to a couple of folks behind the scenes and got the sense that employees are VERY united on this front. There was a virtual meeting with management on Wednesday afternoon in which many grievances were aired, kind of like a newspaper Festivus that had been percolating for some time now.
I’ve got a lot of problems with you people!
Also, Inquirer employees are currently working from home, and not their Market Street location, so they aren’t technically calling “out,” but informing management that they aren’t working today. That’s how it was explained to me, if it matters. Others are doing a “byline strike,” which means they’re refusing to put their names on their stories.
We’ll update this story if we sniff out more details.