As the Illinois Times recently reported, the beleaguered news-gathering operation at the State Journal-Register in Springfield continues to operate under adverse conditions.
When a heat wave washed over the Midwest, the air conditioning at the SJ-R building began faltering, as the Times reported:
Air conditioning at the State Journal Register went on the fritz more than a week ago, and with temperatures climbing to the high 90s in recent days, it’s still not fixed.
Fans and Popsicles have been distributed, but to little effect, according to one employee who said that the temperature in the newsroom, on the building’s top floor, is in the 80s. Some folks reportedly have been allowed to work from home.
“It’s really hard to write when you’re sweating on things,” said one scribe. The AC started acting up about two weeks ago, one source said, and while it still works, it’s a case of barely works. Employees have been told that the problem is being worked on, but have not been told when it might get fixed.
The United Media Guild’s executive board authorized the Springfield unit to rent some stand-alone air conditioning units to get the newspaper through the crisis. But SJ-R executive Angie Muhs prevented the Guild from bringing the units into the building to make the workplace more comfortable for members and managers alike.
Muhs did allow some journalists to work from home, but obviously that is not feasible for everybody in the newsroom. For those who had to stick out, the Guild supplied water and Gatorade to keep employees hydrated.