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Guild Reporter
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Updated: 52 min 34 sec ago

Covering the Trump era – with shrinking newsrooms

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 12:15am
Ken DoctorNovember 29, 2016Politico

Even as the public acknowledges the need for more trustworthy reporting, newsrooms are being decimated  

Two Florida Newspapers Unionize Their Newsrooms

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 10:34am
Sean StrohNovember 10, 2016Editor & Publisher

The idea that the union is run on a business model and is trying to “make money itself” is of course typical corporate speak. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are about workplace democracies and yes, we require dues to accomplish what we do. But workers understand that, and in the end they know that it’s quite likely that when a new unit is formed the money will flow to them for years, until they get on their feet and are able to help struggling journalists in other papers. That’s what democracy looks like. Gatehouse is owned by a hedge fund that will get 20 percent per quarter for their investors whether that destroys newsrooms or not. We are not anti-management. Most of them are concerned too. -- Bernard Lunzer – TNG-CWA President

Election hotline

Sat, 11/05/2016 - 12:36pm
November 5, 2016The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

If you're a reporter and you've encountered a legal problem while trying to cover election events, please contact us. We can provide you with helpful information, and possibly get an attorney to appear in court for you.

Toledo Newspaper Guild members voted overwhelmingly today to authorize a strike at The Blade.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:26am
November 4, 2016Toledo Deserves A Great Newspaper

Toledo Newspaper Guild members voted overwhelmingly today to authorize a strike at The Blade. Of those who voted, more than 90 percent were in favor of authorization.

Statement by TNG President Nolan Rosenkrans:

"In an act of solidarity today, Guild members showed a united front against The Blade and parent company Block Communication with an overwhelming vote in favor of strike authorization. This vote shows our determination to reach a fair contract.

"We hope that a strike will not be necessary, and believe a fair deal can be reached at the table with company negotiators. Today's vote, however, shows that we will not be backed into a corner. It's been 14 years without a raise, and we've suffered pay and benefit cuts repeatedly.

"We've negotiated for more than two years with Block Communications in an attempt to reach an agreement. The time to reach agreement is now."

Gannett's failed bid to buy Tronc: a whodunit

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 8:29am
KEN DOCTORNovember 2, 2016Politico

Tuesday’s busted deal between Gannett Co. and Tronc leaves two companies wobbling — and the state of the newspaper industry in a very public mess.  

Wall Street Journal feels the pain

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 7:46am
JOE POMPEONovember 1, 2016Politico

November 2: Online Civil Unrest and Personal Safety Workshop

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 10:05am
October 31, 2016Global Journalist Security

Wednesday, Nov. 2, online training covers various civil unrest contingencies, along with teamwork to spot and avoid confrontations, safe line of sight, and de-escalation and escape techniques. Price is per connection in a newsroom (multiple trainees can share a single connection).

Gannett’s newsroom cuts slash at St. Cloud’s heart

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 1:08pm
Bob CollinsOctober 26, 2016Minnesota Public Radio

Yesterday, the remaining staffers at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who’ve tried everything to remain in business, tried one thing more: They wore T-shirts. Sixty jobs have been cut — half in the newsroom, according to the Newspaper Guild — since a hedge fund bought the paper in 2012.

 

6 reasons why Gannett’s plan to buy Tronc still makes sense

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 11:21am
October 26, 20166 reasons why Gannett’s plan to buy Tronc still makes sense

With Gannett's third quarter earnings due Thursday, there is at least a chance that its six-month bidding drama to take over Tronc will finally be resolved. The deal still makes all kinds of sense, especially for Tronc shareholders. But I can't help wondering whether Chairman Michael Ferro may be head-faking with all those serious negotiations and still wants to try a turnaround his way.  

Pioneer Press employees put out call for local owners

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 4:35pm
October 25, 2016Pioneer Press employees put out call for local owners

Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns the Pioneer Press, has cut more than 60 jobs in St. Paul — half of them from the newsroom — since it acquired a majority stake in the newspaper in 2012. That represents about 25 percent of the staff and 1,500 years of experience. Another 182 people lost their jobs when Alden outsourced the printing of the paper in 2014.

Employment picture darkens for journalists at digital outlets

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 9:19am
cjrSeptember 29, 2016Employment picture darkens for journalists at digital outlets

It probably comes as no surprise that jobs for journalists at newspapers continue to disappear. But in a disturbing development, digital news jobs that had been replacing some of the legacy positions appear to have hit a plateau.

NewsGuild-CWA is at the Excellence In Journalism Conference in New Orleans

Sun, 09/18/2016 - 10:52am
September 18, 2016

NewsGuild-CWA is at the Excellence In Journalism Conference in New Orleans. Martha Waggoner, Guild International Chairperson pictured with Kevin McGill a News Media Guild member, and fellow AP'er. 

Sarasota Newsroom Votes Guild

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 6:02pm
September 15, 2016

Newsroom employees at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune vote for Guild-CWA representation. 

NewsGuild at Online News Association

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:26pm
September 15, 2016

NewsGuild-CWA at the Online News Association gathering in Denver. Jeff Gordon, United Media Guild and TNG-CWA VP, with Emilie Rusch, Denver News Guild member. Catch up with live events at ONA at http://ona16.journalists.org. 

One Reporter's Opinion: Journalists Should Not Vote for Trump

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 11:08am
Lena WilliamsSeptember 2, 2016Right to Report

Retired New York Times reporter Lena Williams, who regularly writes for RightToReport.org, doesn't pull any punches here. She believes it's not in the best interests of journalists or journalism to support a candidate who verbally assaults reporters, continually threatens to sue media organizations, has said he wants to "loosen" libel laws and doesn't seem to understand the First Amendment or the role of a free press in a democracy. As is our tradition, the NewsGuild-CWA has not endorsed any candidate in upcoming election. Williams' opinions are her own. 

Union Pride at Dow Jones as Bargaining Enters Third Month

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 9:21am
StaffSeptember 2, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA

With T-shirts, bulletin boards and lots of solidarity photos on social media, Guild members at the Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones properties have been doing their all to support the IAPE bargaining team. Talks began in June. Wages are a key sticking point, with the union seeking to offset increases in employees’ share of health care costs. IAPE is asking for a 3.5 percent raise in the first year and 4.5 percent in the following two years, while Dow Jones hasn’t budged above 2 percent. Bargaining was continuing as The Guild Reporter went to press.

Members of the IAPE bargaining team include, from left, Tim Martell, Brent Kendall, Rob Johnson, Tricia Corley, Steve Nakrosis and Bob Kozma.

IAPE members at WSJ’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

Members in Dow Jones customer service, South Brunswick, N.J. 

Tim Martell’s dog, Gracie, is a good sport.

A spirited South Brunswick bulletin board.

 

 

United Media Guild Remembers Titan Robert Steinke

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 9:08am
StaffSeptember 2, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA

Robert A. Steinke, who built the St. Louis Newspaper Guild into one of the Guild’s strongest and most enduring locals, died Aug. 10. He was 89.

Steinke spent 20 years at the helm of the local, now called the United Media Guild. He became active in the union while working in the Post-Dispatch circulation department and briefly joined TNG’s international staff in 1967. The following year he took over as executive secretary/business representative for his local.

When he retired in 1988, TNG President Chuck Dale told the Post-Dispatch, “His contributions to The Newspaper Guild’s membership in St. Louis and throughout our international union have been unequaled throughout our history.”

Steinke, a former Marine, was known for his no-nonsense negotiating style. His commanding leadership got the local through such difficult times as the newspaper strike of 1978-79. He could appear gruff but “beneath that he is one of the gentlest people I’ve ever met,” Dale said in the retirement story. “He is a very soft-hearted person. When somebody is in real trouble, he reaches way down to be helpful.”

Members of the local still benefit from his stewardship today, inheriting strong contract language, high activism levels and outstanding financial resources from his tenure.

“Mr. Steinke spent his life building this union and fighting for the rights of workers,” said Shannon Duffy, the local’s current business representative. “Our local today continues in the path he helped carve out and we are all better off because of his service.”

 

 

News Media Guild Raring to Go After Washington Meeting

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 9:05am
StaffSeptember 2, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA

The News Media Guild’s executive committee and representative assembly appeared energized during a meeting in Washington, D.C., in August, where they decided to survey Associated Press members about discrimination and wage disparity issues. Guild locals in New York, Philadelphia and Washington have conducted similar studies with “dismaying results,” as NMG put it. The RA also approved a budget that includes money for bargaining with AP in 2017, as well as funds for contract talks with EFE, UPI and the local’s newest unit, The Guardian US.

Legal Website Law360 Votes Overwhelmingly to Join NY Guild

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 9:04am
Janelle HartmanSeptember 2, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA

 

The vast majority of the Law360 editorial staff voted in August to join the New York Guild, handily defeating management’s high-pressure three-week campaign to block the union.

In ballots counted at the city’s NLRB office Aug. 24, workers at the legal website voted 109-9 for the Guild. More than 130 reporters, editors, news assistants and apprentices across the United States will be represented.

“Today’s result is a testament to the passionate efforts of Law360’s dedicated journalists,” said Sindhu Sundar, a Law360 features reporter. “We’re incredibly excited for this new chapter of our history.”

Law360 workers in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles voted in person on Aug. 10, while another two dozen remote employees voted by mail.

The company is a fast-growing publisher of legal news and analysis owned by LexisNexis Group, a subsidiary of London-based RELX Group.

The Guild filed for election with the NLRB on July 19, the same day that Law360 employees asked management for voluntary recognition of the union.

Management not only rejected the Guild’s request, it brought in the infamous Jackson Lewis anti-union law firm and a “union avoidance” consulting firm. Employees were pulled into daily hour-long meetings with consultants, LexisNexis executives, and senior Law360 managers, all urging them to vote no.

In a mission statement about the organizing drive, workers said Law360 “has become an indispensable news source for the legal and business communities, and we, the journalists, are proud of the instrumental role we’ve played in driving the company’s constant and remarkable growth.”

“However, this success has not led to better working conditions for those in the newsroom, and the editorial staff of Law360 believe the time has come to unite and ensure that our voices are heard.”

Specifically they said they were seeking “reasonable compensation and overtime pay. We also stand against unilateral changes to our healthcare and other benefits, a mercurial management style, and an overwhelming quota-based workload that leads to a poor work-life balance and questionable editorial priorities.”

Five days before the election, the editor-in-chief and a managing editor were fired and escorted out of the building, a move many employees saw as a dramatic effort by management to show that it was ready to make changes if they rejected the Guild.

The workers’ union campaign began shortly after Law360 management enforced a non-compete agreement against a recently departed employee.

In June, the company discontinued its practice of requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements as part of a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, which stemmed from an investigation the Guild initiated by contacting the AG’s office.

“A non-compete clause is an outrageous demand that adds insult to injury for poorly paid employees, limiting their right and ability to better themselves by seeking new challenges and higher pay,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “Usually we’re not talking about people with long and specialized careers, but young and less experienced workers who are trying to climb the career ladder and fully join America’s middle class. These clauses can literally derail their future success.”

New York Guild President Peter Szekely said the settlement “instantly liberates dozens of journalists from legal shackles that were unfairly stifling their careers. It also warns all news industry executives that they may run afoul of the law if they make non-compete agreements a condition of employment.”

“While the misuse of non-compete agreements harms workers in a variety of occupations, its presence in the news business is particularly troublesome,” Szekely said. “By impeding career advancement and deflating pay, these provisions discourage journalists from developing their skills, and may well diminish the overall quality of journalism.”

Lunzer and Szekely said the Guild is looking into pursuing state and national legislation to put a stop to the practice.

Meanwhile, Law360 journalists will be pursuing a first contract.

“Employees have sent management a clear message and we hope Law360 accepts it,” Szekely said. “We’re ready to turn the page and have a constructive dialogue with management.”