Rupert Murdoch is offering to throw down a rather large chunk of change for Dow Jones—and the union that represents Dow Jones employees, IAPE CWA 1096, is dead set against it. Perhaps they know folks who toil in the underbelly of Murdoch's New York Post, who are grumbling that it'd be nice if Murdoch spent some cash to make their lives a little more pleasant and functional first. Here's what we hear from the staff of the Post.
- The "mid-'90s" computers break down "minutes before deadline" nearly every day, which means reporters lose their stories. Why is that? Because the story and wire program, Newsmaker, only works with Word 97. Oops, but the desktops have Word 2000—and when both are open at the same time, the program shuts down.
- Staffers can't get emails forwarded to a Blackberry, even if they offer to buy the device themselves. Why? "Against company policy."
- The email monitoring, people suspect, is intense. (We wouldn't want our bosses reading our email either.)
- Half the bathroom sinks have no running water.
- No individual Nexis accounts, but the computer program that reporters used to use to search for stories, Folio, went out of business. Reporters can ask the library to do a Nexis search for them, but insiders say that taking that route is essentially a black hole: "At the last minute, stories are often killed because some librarian didn't catch that Newsday did the same story a few weeks before."
- Business cards take six weeks to get. No cards for regular freelancers.
- The soda machine is out of diet sodas by the middle of the week. (Paula Froelich! Hoarding again?)
- Printers break constantly.
- New elevators without buttons! Should be a good thing? But no. "In the lobby, you plug in the floor you're going to and the system tells you which elevator to get on. But everyone is always directed to the same elevator. It's slow, confusing and a huge waste of money."
Of course, who can forget the company's holiday party, at which News Corp. employees (no freelancers!) received a DVD of The Devil Wears Prada, a book, and a 5-year lightbulb?