No one’s been a tougher critic than me when it comes to lamenting the dramatic decline in the public affairs news coverage of our state’s largest newspaper, the Star Tribune.
Perhaps that’s what makes this photo of the Star Tribune‘s work space almost show-stopping:
The Star Tribune has about 30 work stations.And, reportedly, almost every working reporter at the paper outside the convention hall is on the RNC story.Anyone read the paper’s convention coverage this morning? Took me about 20 minutes just to read the RNC special print section.
Our town’s two media critics, MinnPost‘s David Brauer and Minneapolis St. Paul magazine’s Brian Lambert have documented every twist and turn at the beleauguered Star Tribune, particularly its current chapter under New York venture capital firm Avista Capital Partners.
Bully for Avista Capital. Covering the RNC is costing the company a fortune. "Flooding the zone" was historically to be expected when a national political convention comes to our town.Many of us weren’t sure that would happen in today’s newspaper environment.Obviously, it did.The Star Tribune‘s extensive coverage will contribute greatly to our collective civic pride.
Not to be outdone:
The St. Paul Pioneer Press working space is also impressive.Looked to me like the paper has about a dozen workstations, with maybe another 40 or so with its RNC coverage partner, Politico.
Massive work spaces were constructed by the national print media.
The most interesting media booth in the media area isn’t run by media at all:
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, has set up a free bar for all those hard-working journalists.
I checked in around 2 p.m. and it was mostly international types who were ordering alcohol, although I did catch MinnPost‘s Joe Kimball loading up at the chips and salsa bar:
Later in the day, Captain’s Quarters was booming:
Note that the stand for Gustav donations became a convenient place to park drinks.
Diageo had the same free bar and food in Denver.One Diageo lobbyist told me that the company opted for the free bar route after the ban on soft money at conventions.Diageo owns brands including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Bailey’s, J&B, Jose Cuervo and Tanqueray.
Note to Minnesota journalists:I promise no more photos or namedropping of who, exactly, is stopping by the Diageo spread.Just remember the Captain’s Orders: Drink responsibly.