This disturbing scene is documented at ruthholladay.com/index.php?blog=1&title=death_in_the_newsroom&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
Are the deadline pressures more important than attending to stricken employee? Apparently so at one of the bottom-line Gannett papers.
Mpozi Tolbert was only 34 years old when he collapsed and died in the newsroom of the Indianapolis Star on July 3.
Now there’s some quaint, old-school, hackneyed journalese for you — “collapsed and died.”
What utter bullshit. Mpozi did not just fall down with his heart at a standstill, victim of a massive stroke or aneurysm.
That would be tragic but at least within the realm of reason — stuff happens. People die, even young, seemingly healthy adults.
But the truth is far worse, and it will never be printed in the Gannett-owned Star.
Mpozi — a vibrant young black male, a bicyclist-about-town, a guy who never met a stranger, the sweet soul of tolerance and curiosity — was a victim of an inept, profit-driven, cheap, small-minded company.
Gannett is the most financially fat corporation in the now largely souless newspaper industry. But it can’t afford the time or money to teach its employees CPR or employ a security team with a first responder or have on hand a pair of defib paddles to revive a man down. (Something Wal-Mart, Target and McDonald’s have all managed, as they should).
Gannett, with all its goody-two-shoes emphasis on ethics right down to its practice of hassling employees to ensure that everyone’s driver’s license is up to date, car insurance in place, etc., has, or had, a setup in the newsroom which DOES NOT ALLOW REPORTERS OR EDITORS TO CALL OUT ON 911.
Note to outraged readers: I am told that little oversight has been corrected. Can anybody say litigation? — Ruth
This is a snapshot of what the inside of a Gannett newsroom looks like. I wonder if the paper was a little late going to press?