Detroit Free Press, News publish separately again p. 17

By: Mark Fitzgerald IN ANOTHER SIGNAL of their determination to continue normal publication despite a strike by 2,500 workers, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News resumed separate publication Sept. 18.
The 435,000 copies of the morning Free Press and the 300,000 copies of the evening News were the first separately produced papers printed by the dailies since the morning after the strike began July 13.
For the first nine weeks of the strike, the Detroit Newspaper Agency, which runs business and production operations of the separately owned dailies, had vowed to resume normal publication while printing a combined Free Press and News strike edition.
"For more than two months, we've been forced by the strike to produce a combined newspaper with our competitors," Free Press publisher Neal Shine wrote in a front-page letter to readers.
"That's why we're so happy to return Monday as the stand-alone Free Press, he wrote."
Similarly, News editor and publisher Robert H. Giles told readers in a front-page column that more than half of the former striking newsroom employees had returned to work. Combined with new hires, the staff is sufficient not only to produce a normal paper, Giles wrote, but to add new features.
Giles announced the News was launching a new weekly section on Friday called "Screens." The broadsheet section would contain movie, video and television reviews and features.
"We're back to normal enough in terms of our staffing that we can handle" normal newsgathering, Giles said in an interview. "We've got 235 people, out of a pre-strike staff of 300. And I think we're going to be getting more people back this week once they realize what separate publication means."
The dailies resumed their pre-strike publication schedule, with the entire Free Press run and the outstate and single-copy sales editions of the News being produced together for morning delivery and the rest of the News going to press about 8:30 a.m.
Though the newspapers clearly see separate publication as a victory over strikers, at least one union, the Newspaper Guild, said it may ultimately favor labor.
"That will be an additional strain on financial resources and on the personnel who are working there. We feel if there is additional strain and pressure on the company, that adds incentive to once again resume bargaining," Guild spokesman Joe Swickard, a striking Free Press reporter, told the Associated Press.
Bargaining between some unions and the newspapers was scheduled to resume Sept. 20.
Dart Award. Reporter Michele Stanush and photographer Lynne Dobson of the Austin American-Statesman will share the $10,000 Dart Award, recognizing newspaper coverage of victims of violence. The award, is funded by the Dart Foundation of Mason, Mich., and is administered by Michigan State University's Victims in the Media Program.
Stanush and Dobson received the honor for their two-part series on a 37-year-old man who sustained burns over 80% of his body and whose wife and child died in an arson fire.


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