9.18.2007

PAR RIDDER RULING: REACTIONS FROM
INSIDE THE MNPLS STAR TRIBUNE

Following the news of Par Ridder's court-ordered ejection Tuesday at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Blog asked news design director Chris Clonts what the mood was like in the newsroom. His personal observations + reactions follow:

QUESTION: What's the mood in the newsroom been like today?
Clonts: Well, it has been a long summer here after two rounds of buyouts and the ongoing tumult. There's a range of emotions around the room. Many feel vindicated that their feelings about the situation have been validated. For some, it's just an unpleasant exclamation point on the things folks out in the blogosphere (however narrow their audiences are) have been writing for some months now.

Those reactions have quickly (is there such a thing as a news cycle anymore?) turned to the follow-up questions: What does this mean? Are current plans going to be put on ice? Could the $5 million we're ordered to pay (PiPress legal costs) affect our newsroom budget? Obviously it's going to take longer to figure out those things.

By the afternoon, though, the daily deadline maw had people largely going about the business of putting out Wednesday's paper.


Q: How, if at all, has this impacted coverage today?

A: Not much. Matt McKinney, our reporter on the case, has been covering this very well all along, so he'd planned for it. He had A-matter in for his story on Monday.


Q: What was the reaction to the ruling?
A: I'd respectfully just refer folks to MNSpeak.com to see what folks whose expressions can be more unfettered are saying. I wasn't here at the time, but by all reports the newsroom was buzzing. And with an all-but-unanimous move by the union a few months ago to ask Ridder to resign, it's safe to assume what the tone of the buzz was.

It's important to note, though, that even those of us who are expressing joy, relief, angst, confusion or even schadenfreude over today's ruling realize that A) this isn't over yet, and B) when anything impugning your integrity flashes as a topic at water coolers and in other local media, it's not exactly a grand 'ol time. As lots of people have said:
We want to break news. We don't want to be news.

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