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The Plot to Save Pioneer Press From Its Hedge Fund Owners

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 11:17am
Mike MullenMay 4, 2016City Pages

Elizabeth Mohr spent March 31 crying at her desk. Crying and typing. A week earlier, she had approached Pioneer Press editor Mike Burbach, telling him she'd take a buyout after a decade as the paper's cops and courts reporter. Mohr, 35, was by far the youngest of six employees leaving the paper. "I'm a mom, I have kids," Mohr says. "I was in a job that was getting harder and more stressful, and I was never going to get another raise.” The oldest newspaper in Minnesota had been reduced to a skeleton. Now, its overlords were simply picking at the bones.

Featured Title: Plotting to Save a Newspaper From Its Hedge Fund Owners

CMG Files with Labour Board to Represent VICE Canada

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 5:46pm
StaffApril 29, 2016Canadian Media Guild

CMG organizers submitted an application Friday afternoon to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to certify the union at VICE Canada to represent employees in editorial, marketing, production and post-production across the country. “Working at VICE is exciting, inspiring, and I’m super proud to be a part of what we create,” says one worker at VICE Canada. “I believe forming a union will help all of us have a stronger voice in how our office works, how our work is used, and how our successes are shared fairly among all of us. We work really hard at creating award-winning, popular, important content. It’s time that our salaries, benefits, and office culture reflect that.”

FBI Broke Own Rules In Impersonating AP Reporter in 2007

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 11:44am
Hannah Bloch-WehbaApril 29, 2016Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

The FBI failed to follow its own rules when agents impersonated an Associated Press reporter in order to locate a criminal suspect in 2007, according to documents newly released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The Associated Press. The documents further show that after the impersonation became public, an FBI analysis determined that the non-compliance was reasonable, raising questions about the efficacy of the guidelines altogether. The Reporters Committee and AP sued the FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice last August for records related to the FBI’s practice of impersonating the news media. 

Horror in Bangladesh: LBGTI Magazine Editor Hacked to Death

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 9:13am
StaffApril 26, 2016International Federation of Journalists

The IFJ and journalists worldwide are condemning the April 25 murder of the editor of the country’s first and only LBGTI magazine. According to reports, Zulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangla-language LBGTI magazine Roopbaan, a local staffer of USAID and the cousin of former foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni, was hacked to death along with a friend, Tanay Fahim, at his residence in Dhaka’s Kalabagan area. Mannan and Fahim were both well-known LGBTI activists in Bangladesh.

Eleanor Roosevelt to Be First Union Member on U.S. Currency

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 3:53pm
Mark GruenbergApril 21, 2016Press Associates, Inc.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was also a columnist and Guild member. At a Page One ball, she receives her 25-year pin.


WASHINGTON (PAI)--For the first time in U.S. history, a committed union member, Eleanor Roosevelt of what was then the American Newspaper Guild, will be on U.S. currency.

Roosevelt will enter that pantheon when she joins Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Marian Anderson on the reverse side of the to-be-redesigned $5 bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced on April 20. President Abraham Lincoln will remain on the front of the bill.

 “We have always taken great pride in the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt was a card-carrying member of our union,” said Bernie Lunzer, President of the News Guild sector of the Communications Workers, the renamed Newspaper Guild. Roosevelt joined the Guild in 1936 and remained a member until her death in 1962.

“This an opportunity for Americans to learn more about that part of her life and her values, in addition to all the other reasons she deserves to be immortalized on U.S. currency,” Lunzer said of Roosevelt.

While serving as First Lady and for years afterwards, Roosevelt wrote a column, My Day, syndicated to more than 200 newspapers, with more than six million readers. She was a member of the Guild’s Washington local. It’s now the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.

 “ER walked on picket lines, went into mines to inspect working conditions...and testified about what she saw,” Cornell University Professor Jo Freeman wrote in reviewing a Roosevelt biography in 2011. “Even during wartime” – World War II – “she supported the right of all workers to join unions.”

And Roosevelt used her column to argue for workers’ rights, women’s rights, African-American rights, and to chastise unions for excluding those groups from leadership positions, Freeman noted.

After the war, Roosevelt continued to support U.S. strikers and successfully argued for inserting the right to join unions into the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

The redesigned currency, which produced the decision to put Roosevelt on the $5 bill,  occurred after a flood of comments came into the Treasury about its original plan to replace former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with an historic woman.

That led to thousands of nominations for new figures on the $5, $10 and especially on $20 bills, given controversy over the record of President Andrew Jackson, now on the front of the $20 bill. Abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman will replace Jackson on the front. Jackson will be relegated to the other side, Lew said. 

Meanwhile, "The reverse of the new $5 will highlight historic events that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial and will include images of Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.," Treasury said. Though Treasury did not say so, the Daughters of the Ameri-can Revolution had barred Anderson from singing at nearby Constitution Hall. Roosevelt not only arranged for Anderson's concert at the memorial, but quit the DAR, blasting its racism.

Treasury said writers submitted names of 274 women to be on currency. Other unionists among those nominees were Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and co-founder of American Federation of Teachers Local 1, miners' and labor activist Mary Harris "Mother" Jones and socialist unionist Emma Goldman.

Florence Kelley, founder of the labor-backed National Consumers League, and Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member -- as Secretary of Labor -- and a strong advocate who lobbied FDR to enact both Social Security and the National Labor Relations Act, were also among the nominees.




'Economic Pressures' Diminishing Ability of U.S. News Organizations to Take on First Amendment Fights

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 10:01am
April 21, 2016Knight Foundation

In the 20th century, news organizations played a major role in protecting the press and speech freedoms enshrined by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They went to the nation’s highest courts to fight for government documents, report fully on public figures, fight censorship and protect confidential sources. Their efforts helped to shape American laws on libel, privacy, prior restraint and many other legal principles. In the latter half of the 20th century, daily newspapers in particular paid hefty legal bills to fight for—and in some cases expand—speech and press rights. In the past decade, however, as suggested by a new Knight Foundation report, economic pressures on traditional news companies appear to have diminished their capacity to engage in legal activity. What’s more, the digital-age technologies that upended legacy media economics also have complicated First Amendment law

Two Journalists Still Facing Absurd Charges in Ferguson

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 2:27pm
Jonathan PetersApril 20, 2016Columbia Journalism Review

The 2014 arrests of journalists Ryan Reilly and Wesley Lowery for, well, doing journalism at a McDonald’s in Ferguson, Missouri, were misguided. The filing of charges by St. Louis County against them nearly a year later, just days before the statute of limitations tolled, was absurd. Over the past eight months, the charges—one count each of trespassing and interfering with a police officer against Reilly, of The Huffington Post, and Lowery, of The Washington Post, which this week won a Pulitzer Prize for a project on fatal police shootings that grew in part out of events in Ferguson—have been the subject of numerous legal proceedings in Missouri courts. And somewhere along the way, the case has become not just disappointing but dumbfounding, a remarkable low point for government harassment of the press. Lowery is a member of the Washington-Baltimore Guild.

Featured Title: Two Journalists Still Facing Absurd Charges in Ferguson

Lou Mleczko Inducted Into Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 3:47pm
StaffApril 19, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA Retired Detroit Guild leader Lou Mleczko is inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Photo by Diane Weiss.   Lou Mleczko, an investigative reporter who served 38 years as president of the Detroit Guild, including 18 in which he doubled as the local’s administrative director, has been inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.   Mleczko and three other journalists were honored at a ceremony Sunday night, April 17, on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.   He was nominated by Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter. In an email announcing that Mleczko had been selected he wrote, “During 24 years at The Detroit News, Lou Mleczko forged a reputation as a dogged investigative reporter who exposed structural and safety defects in major construction projects. During an overlapping 38-year career as a labor activist, Lou Mleczko organized Detroit News workers and battled for fair wages, benefits and working conditions for journalists at several area newspapers.”   In a letter endorsing Mleczko, Nancy Dunn, a former Booth Newspapers reporter and former assistant editor at the Free Press said, “Lou’s entire career has exemplified the kind of courage, integrity and leadership that advanced the profession and improved the economic well-being of committed journalists. More than anyone else I can think of, Lou absolutely deserves a place of honor in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.”   In his acceptance speech Sunday, Mleczko said, “Journalism, no matter the mode of delivery, is so critical to our society. There can be no democracy without a free and independent press.  Just as important, there can be no democracy in the newsroom without a union representing journalists.”   Here is the full text of his speech:   I want to thank the Hall of Fame Judges for this distinct honor. Thank you ML Elrick and Nancy Dunn for championing my nomination. Thanks to David Ashenfelter  for brilliantly consolidating 38 years of my work at the News and the Detroit Guild into a coherent application for the Hall of Fame Committee.   Also to Attorney Duane Ice for being my mentor, colleague and inspiration in the battles we encountered. Thank you Duane.   And most importantly, I want to thank my wife, Lorraine, and my daughter, Carrie. I would not be standing here today without their support.   Journalism, no matter the mode of delivery, is so critical to our society. There can be no democracy without a free and independent press.  Just as important, there can be no democracy in the newsroom without a union representing journalists.   When I was hired as a general assignment reporter for The Detroit News, I couldn’t help but notice the paper’s mission statement, ordered by News founder James E. Scripps, chiseled in stone on the exterior of the paper’s headquarters in downtown Detroit. “Voice of the Lowly and Oppressed; “Advocate of the Friendless”;  “Righter of Public and Private Wrongs”  “A Light Shining into all Dark Places.”   Scripps wanted his journalists to be advocates!   And then one Black Monday in 1974, the newsroom became such a dark place. Dozens of newsroom employees were told to empty out their desks by 12 Noon and get out, arbitrarily laid off without regard to seniority or ability. This is when I realized more than ever that we needed union representation. I helped launch what became a year-long fight after a successful organizing drive which eventually led to the first contract ever for News journalists and support staff.   The theme of our drive in was “The Magic of Self-Respect.” *To have a collective voice in our jobs and our careers *To have an equal seat at the table with management Through collective bargaining, we obtained, for the first time *a fully paid, comprehensive health care plan *a defined benefit pension *minimum pay rates by job classification.   After a year of negotiations, it was during a tedious, contentious bargaining session that was going nowhere, Teamsters official Elton Schade rushed into the cramped bargaining room and announced that “Jimmy’s missing.”   Teamsters officials, who were observers in the meeting, rushed out leaving the bargaining committees staring at each other in confusion. The bargaining was effectively over, just hours from the start of a strike. We looked out the window and saw men with weapons stationing themselves in front of the Teamsters Building. We knew it was time to leave.   It was Hoffa’s disappearance that inadvertently gave us a tentative agreement and our first contract. News management wasn’t sure if the Teamsters would follow us out on strike. The News opted to settle with the Guild.   As a reporter at the Detroit News, I documented public and private wrongs like the major building and fire code violations at Joe Louis Arena, the Pontiac Silverdome, the Renaissance Center as well as construction defects on state highways and bridges, the Detroit People Mover and the near collapse of the Zilwaukee Bridge on I-75.   Editors gave me the freedom to do these time consuming investigations. These projects were of vital public importance. And it gave me great personal satisfaction in translating the sometimes dry, highly technical world of inspectors, engineers and contractors for a general public whose tax dollars as well as their personal safety were at stake.   Meanwhile, as President I represented Newspaper Guild members at the Detroit News, Free Press, Macomb Daily, Observer and Eccentric, Michigan Catholic and the UAW. Like my construction beat, it was critically important for all of my Guild colleagues. This allowed them to thrive at what they did best---put together the best newspaper possible for the public good.   When the owners of the Detroit News and Free Press announced their intention to merge in 1985, I opposed it as a journalist, as a trade unionist and as an advocate of the public good. A JOA would diminish competition, news coverage, staffs and investigative projects. Monopolistic ad rates and circulation prices would drive away advertisers and readers. The new business behemoth would attack the job benefits that we had worked so hard to achieve.   Our opposition to the largest newspaper merger in American history built a historical record proving there was no need for a JOA in Detroit. Even when the Guild was forced to drop out as the last intervenor, Lorraine and I helped form a group that teamed up with Public Citizen, which took our case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite our best efforts, the JOA was approved on a tie Supreme Court vote in late 1989.   It wasn’t a coincidence that, prior to the JOA, joint negotiations between the unions and the two companies avoided a major labor dispute from 1968 until the merged News/Free Press provoked the Great Newspaper Strike of 1995. The 5.5-year strike/lock-out impacted the careers of hundreds of newspaper employees as well as negatively altering the business landscape for these two diminished newspaper giants.   From 2001 to 2013, we preserved union contracts at all of our Guild units, which assured the members, we represented, a seat at the table as the newspapers were hit by unprecedented changes in the media industry, including the devastating near financial collapse and deep recession in 2008 that engulfed the nation.   Despite all of the challenges impacting the media today, Guild members still have the “Magic of Self-Respect” and a voice in their workplace. They can continue to serve as advocates for the general public as envisioned by Detroit News founder James Scripps.   I am grateful to have had a significant role as a reporter and as a union official in accomplishing those goals. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. And I thank the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame for recognizing it today.


Byline Counts, Union Talks & 'A Lot of Anxiety' at Denver Post

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 10:27am
Corey HutchinsApril 19, 2016Columbia Journalism Review

Their employer is counting bylines. There are looming fears of more job cuts. All in all at The Denver Post, "“It’s gotten to the point where it’s pretty exhausting,” said Kieran Nicholson, reporter and Post newsroom chair for the Denver Guild. “For people like me—and there’s a few of us who have been around that whole time—it’s death by a thousand cuts, and we ride this roller coaster of emotion and seeing so much talent walk out the door.”

Guild Members Among Big Winners, Finalists for 2015 Pulitzers

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 4:50pm
Janelle HartmanApril 18, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA

Screenshot from AP's award-winning expose. Click here to read more.

NEWSGUILD members at The Associated Press, Boston Globe, Washington Post and Thomson Reuters are among the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2015, and many more are among the three finalists in each category, as announced Monday afternoon.

The AP received the Pulitzer’s Gold Medal, given for public service journalism. It tops a mountain of awards News Media Guild member Martha Mendoza (pictured) and an overseas reporting team have earned for their stunning expose of slavery in Thailand’s seafood industry.

The investigation revealed that the industry used slaves to produce seafood sold everywhere from Walmart to Red Lobster, among many U.S. grocery stores and restaurants.

The reporting team’s work led to the freeing of more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, the jailing of perpetrators, congressional hearings and the proposal of new laws.

The News Media Guild reports that Mendoza, a senior journalist in the AP’s San Jose, Calif., bureau, also won a Pulitzer in 2000 as part of the team that revealed that American soldiers early in the Korean War killed hundreds of Korean civilians in a massacre at the No Gun Ri Bridge.

Other Guild members celebrating individual and staff Pulitzers today are:

* The Washington Post staff for National Reporting for “its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be."

* Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe for Commentary for “extensively reported columns that probe the legacy of busing in Boston and its effect on education in the city with a clear eye on ongoing racial contradictions.

* The photography staff of Thomson Reuters for Breaking News Photography for “gripping photographs, each with its own voice, that follow migrant refugees hundreds of miles across uncertain boundaries to unknown destinations.”

Many Guild members were among the three finalists in each category for the coveted prize. They are:

* The staff of The Baltimore Sun for Breaking News Reporting for “fast-moving coverage of the rioting that followed the shooting death of Freddie Gray, reflecting the newsroom's knowledge of the community and advancing the conversation about police violence.”

* Five New York Times reporters for Investigative Reporting. Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery and Robert Gebeloff were cited for “a revelatory inquiry into a corporate strategy to add clauses to millions of contracts, stripping consumers and employees of their rights to challenge unfair business practices in court.” Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip were finalists for “a probing report that lifted the veil on an epidemic of violence by corrections officers against inmates in New York state prisons.”

* Jonathan D. Rockoff, Joseph Walker and Peter Loftus, part of a five-person team at The Wall Street Journal, finalists in Explanatory Reporting for “a lucid explanation of how pharmaceutical companies employ secretive tactics to raise drug prices relentlessly, at great cost to patients and taxpayers.”

* Sarah Maslin Nir of The New York Times for Local Reporting for “an investigation into the ugly side of the beauty industry, exposing labor and health practices detrimental to workers in nail salons.”

* Bradley Hope of The Wall Street Journal, part of a five-member team cited for International Reporting for “masterful reporting that exposed corruption at the highest levels of a fragile democracy, leading to ‘Malaysia's Watergate.’”

* Eli Saslow of The Washington Post for Feature Writing for “three humane and topical feature stories exploring lives affected by a natural disaster, gun violence and a frayed social safety net.”

* N.R. Kleinfield of The New York Times for Feature Writing for "the layered and riveting account of the last days of a Queens man, part detective story, part eulogy and part exploration of a city's bureaucracy of death."

* Manohla Dargis of The New York Times for Criticism for “reviews and essays that take on the sacred cows of film culture with considerable style and admirable literary and historical reach.”

* Peter Jensen and Glenn McNatt of The Baltimore Sun, along with two colleagues, for Editorial Writing for “editorials that demanded accountability in the aftermath of the shooting death of Freddie Gray while also offering guidance to a trouble city.”

* Steve Sack of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis for Editorial Cartooning for “painterly cartoons that both delight and provoke, leading readers to see the world and its pressing issues in new ways.”

Politico Seeking $205,000 in Tax Credits from California

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 8:23am
Cara GriffithApril 18, 2016TaxAnalysts.com

Politico “would expand its California operation by adding 41 employees in Sacramento" if it receives $205,000 in tax credits from California, according to reporting on state documents about companies filing for tax breaks. Writes Cara Griffith, "A news organization applied for tax credits in a state where it will be regularly reporting. That is news in and of itself. Would the state expect preferential treatment from Politico in return? Or would Politico feel more inclined to be soft in its coverage of the state government’s activities because of the tax credits? Would Politico’s coverage of tax incentive deals in California change if it were a recipient of such a deal?"

How Journalists are Grappling with NC's 'Bathroom Bill'

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:30am
Joe StruppApril 14, 2016Media Matters

North Carolina journalists tell Media Matters that covering the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which stripped nondiscrimination protections from LGBT residents, has been especially challenging due to the amount of fearmongering and misinformation spread by the law’s proponents. Rick Gall, news director at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, said countering it is a major challenge. “One of the biggest things that the supporters of the law have stated is ‘we did this to protect families, particularly women and children in restrooms,’” Gall said. “There’s certainly not a lot of evidence to indicate this has been a major problem in the past. We ask if this is fixing a problem that really existed.” He described much of the fear-based claims as “Doomsday-type scenarios,” adding, “we cannot be purveyors of … some wild accusations.”

DFM's 'Irresponsible Stewardship' of a Prize-Winning Paper

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:17am
Diane MastrullApril 14, 2016Digital First Media Workers

Diane Mastrull was thrilled years ago to go from a non-union paper to the Pottstown Mercury, a “kickass” suburban Philly paper that was "unrelenting, authoritative and often unbeatable.” But today? “It is with dismay that I’ve watched from my dual perch now as a business writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and an officer of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia how subsequent owners have come to value pocketing profits over passing it on to my brothers and sisters at The Mercury, who continue to commit themselves to producing impactful journalism.” Cartoon by Kirk Anderson for Guild's DFM campaign.

Featured Title: 'Irresponsible Stewardship' of a Prize-Winning Newspaper

Slate: Journalist's Two-Year Prison Sentence a 'Travesty'

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:13am
Justin PetersApril 14, 2016Slate

On Wednesday afternoon, six months after he was convicted of a computer crime that barely warranted the distinction, journalist Matthew Keys was sentenced to serve 24 months in federal prison. Keys, who has worked for Reuters and the Tribune Company, was indicted in 2013 for conspiring to vandalize the website of the Los Angeles Times. The mischief that Keys enabled was confined to a single page on the Times’ website, was removed after 40 minutes, and did no lasting damage to the site.

Should Talese Have Reported Perverted Motel Owner to Cops?

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:04am
Erik WempleApril 13, 2016The Washington Post

More than 30 years ago, Gay Talese met Gerald Foos, the proprietor of the Manor House Motel near Denver. No average motelier, Foos had bought his inn with the intent to spy on its guests. The structure’s pitched roof, in fact, facilitated Foos’s hovering above his customers’ rooms, whose custom-slanted louvred screens enabled him to watch them without fear of detection. Only in journalism would one seek to cultivate a three-decade-long relationship with a motel pervert. “The Voyeur’s Motel” reflects the anxiety of a writer doing just that. After his spying on the couple, for instance, Talese recalls saying to himself, “What was I doing up here, anyway? Had I become complicit in his strange and distasteful project?”

CWA Canada Condemns Scab-Produced Herald Refugee Story

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 2:15pm
StaffApril 12, 2016CWA Canada

CWA Canada, the national union that represents striking newsroom staff at The Chronicle Herald, is appalled at the paper’s irresponsible and unethical article on refugee children that has incited hatred against Muslim refugees. The story in the weekend edition, written by an anonymous scab reporter and quoting two anonymous sources, makes allegations of choking and bullying by refugee elementary students. The paper has since removed the article from its website and admitted that it was “incomplete” and “insufficiently corroborated.” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said the article shows an “appalling abdication of journalistic integrity.” “I have been a journalist for 25 years and I have never seen such a grossly irresponsible piece of rubbish from a reputable newspaper,” he said.

How Corporate Media Sabotage Sunshine

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 4:19pm
Richard Knee, VPApril 11, 2016Pacific Media Workers Guild  Digital First Media, the New York-based hedge fund that owns most of the San Francisco Bay Area's major dailies, has shut down the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Hayward Daily Review and Fremont Argus and consolidated them into the East Bay Times.   Likewise, DFM is combining the San Jose Mercury News and the San Mateo County Times into what will be called the Mercury News.   DFM plans a 20 percent staff cut at the East Bay Times and claims it can't afford to give workers a pay raise. These workers haven’t had a raise for eight years.   Why, then, is DFM able to spend $49.8 million to buy the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise? And how long will it be before it consolidates those papers with the Long Beach Press Telegram and its other Southern California Newspaper Group properties, giving out more pink slips in the process?   Such scorched-earth treatment of workers is not unique to DFM or to the print media. Nationwide, consolidation and cost-cutting has sent the quality and quantity of local news coverage into a nosedive.   That means, among other things, that newspapers are less able to serve as watchdogs of city, county and state governments, school and community college districts, etc., and to do the kind of digging required to expose backroom deals.   Or as a DFM staffer put it, "it lets (public officials) simply ignore transparency laws and shit all over the public."   On the increasingly rare occasions when reporters, columnists and editorial writers working for the corporate media bring such malfeasance to light, they won't tell you that their own companies are enablers. Your NewsGuild-CWA is telling you that right here, right now.

Fired Rockford Copy Editor Wins Round 1 Against Gatehouse

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 12:05pm
Shannon DuffyApril 6, 2016United Media Guild

The Rockford Register Star fired veteran copy editor Paula Buckner in January, alleging “rude and disrespectful” comments to coworker when Buckner had the temerity to comment, with a mild swear word, on how the paper's newly formatted obits looked and question their oversized appearance. While the Guild began fighting her termination, the company fought her on unemployment compensation. Bucker won that round, UMG reports. An administrative law judge who conducted an appeal hearing by phone, ordered that she is eligible for benefits, stating by letter that "The claimant made in error in judgement. She did not set out to harm her employer. She did not realize that her actions could result in her discharge. She had not been warned about this specific issue. She did not raise her voice. It was an isolated incident of little severity." UMG says the "Next item on the agenda is Paula’s arbitration hearing, where her union will argue for her reinstatement and full back pay." Photo: Buckner is pictured far right with colleagues after a Labor Day parade in 2013, shortly after the Rockford journalists joined the Guild.

Featured Title: Fired Rockford Copy Editor Wins Round One Against Gatehouse

CWA Canada Condemns Court Ruling Demanding Reporter Turn Over Communications with ISIS Fighter

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 1:39pm
StaffApril 5, 2016CWA Canada

CWA Canada and other journalist organizations are expressing alarm at an Ontario Superior Court ruling that would force a Vice News reporter to hand over to the RCMP all communications between him and an ISIS fighter. “This ruling sets a dangerous precedent and deals a blow to press freedom and the integrity of journalism in Canada,” said their March 31 joint statement to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

Media Writer Blasts Obama's 'Hypocritical Journalism Lecture'

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 11:42am
Jack ShaferMarch 30, 2016Politico

Jack Shafer was on hand as President Obama lauded journalists this week. He wasn't impressed. "The last person in the world who should be lecturing journalists on how to do journalism is President Barack Obama. Yet there Obama was Monday night at a journalism award ceremony, yodeling banalities about the role of a press in a free society, moaning over the dangers posed by “he said/she said” reporting, and—to the delight of the assembled audience—attacking Donald Trump in every way but name. What they should have done is bombard Obama with rotten fruit or ripped him with raspberries for his hypocrisy. Story Continued Below The deeper you study Obama’s relationship with the press, the more you want to ask what business he has giving out a press award. Was Trump himself busy that night?"