Telling Our Stories
Image of Sun logo sign at rear of Calvert Street building.

About the site

Photo by Elizabeth Malby

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2009 was a year of unprecedented collapse in print journalism. Telling Our Stories shares bittersweet memories from within one metropolitan newspaper.

In the spring of 2009, The Baltimore Sun laid off about 60 people, including about a third of the newsroom staff.

 This Web site records the bittersweet memories of many of those people.  Some recall the pain of being fired; others the challenges, joys and spirit of newspaper work.

 The Web site grows from a fellowship project conceived and funded by the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation, which has a mission of perpetuating the art and craft of storytelling.  Like other WGAE Foundation projects, this one gave the laid-off Sun employees an opportunity to process a difficult experience through creative work.

Participating fellows include reporters, editors, critics, copy editors, photographers, designers, advertising salespeople and market researchers.  In addition to the essays, poems, photos and videos, they also designed the web site and edited the submissions.

 They were given directions that were intentionally vague — "to tell a story arising out of their personal experiences during their time at The Baltimore Sun.  Fellows are encouraged to find their own voice by exploring storytelling in all its forms — and the form chosen does not necessarily need to correspond to the position she or he held at The Sun."  

The resulting works are as diverse as the individuals.  The sponsors did not feel it was their role to act as censors; the fellows were encouraged to express their own feelings in their own way.  Although this site gives homage to its newspaper origins by using a familiar journalistic framework, it is essentially a collection of personal memoirs.

The WGAE Foundation has done writing and reading projects with a variety of groups, including returning veterans and high school students.  It is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East, a labor union representing professional writers in film, television and radio.

 Assisting the WGAE Foundation in this project was the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, a local union representing employees at The Sun, the Washington Post and two dozen other publications and labor and professional organizations.  WBNG is part of The Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America.

—M. William Salganik

  Past president, Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild

Meet the fellows

Learn about the participants in the project and link to their contributions.

Explore by section

Explore all the contributions by opening up their ‘‘sections.’’

Visit discussion forum

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The Days of The Baltimore Sun

Works © 2010 by the individual authors except as noted. Remainder of site © 2010 by the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation.   Site map