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Updated: 5 min 46 sec ago

New York Guild Organizes News Staff at Al Jazeera America

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:31am
StaffSeptember 3, 2015The NewsGuild of New York

Citing a deep commitment to Al Jazeera America’s mission of providing quality, cutting-edge journalism, and a desire for more consistent and transparent management practices, the digital newsroom of Al Jazeera America announced today that it has petitioned for representation with The NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003. An overwhelming majority of the digital newsroom has signed on to the effort, and the group has called on AJAM’s management to voluntarily recognize their union. They are still awaiting a formal response from the company. - See more at: http://www.nyguild.org/newsreader/items/al-jazeera-america-digital-journalists-organize-with-newsguild-of-ny.html#sthash.jLDezrQn.dpuf

Featured Title:  Al Jazeera America Journalists Seek Guild Representation

Politico Reports on NewsGuild's Digital Organizing Campaign

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:31am
Peter SterneSeptember 2, 2015Politico

Politico looks at how NewsGuild-CWA and the Writers Guild of America-East are both working to organize digital media workers. While the Writers Guild has gotten a lot of media attention recently for its organizing drives, NewsGuild represents far more digital journalists and has launched a $500,000 campaign -- thanks to CWA's Strategic Industry Fund -- to organize more. NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer said Lunzer he believes that journalists who do their homework will pick NewsGuild, owing to its decades of experience organizing newspaper journalists. “Especially in the world of journalism, if you were to disregard what’s been really the predominant union for journalists for over 70 years in the United States, I think that would be really kind of foolish,” he said.

VICE Journalists Held In Turkey Transferred to Distant Prison

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:24am
StaffSeptember 2, 2015VICE News

VICE News' team of three journalists — who remain detained in Turkey for entirely baseless and absurd charges — have now been transported to a high-security "F-type" prison facility more than five hours away from where their legal representation is based, and from the court where they are due to appear, said Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE's Head of News Programming in Europe. A Turkish court leveled formal charges of terrorism at two VICE News journalists and their colleague on Monday, as global rights groups have continued to call for the reporters to be released. The three are British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, and Turkey-based Iraqi translator and journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool.

Featured Title: Turkey Sends VICE Journalists to Distant High-Security Prison

Few Leads in Shooting Death of Manchester Guild Member

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 1:41pm
Mark HaywardSeptember 1, 2015New Hampshire Union Leader

All available police detectives are investigating the unexplained shooting death of a well-known Manchester native as she went for her regular Sunday-night exercise walk in an affluent North End neighborhood, a grim-faced police chief said Monday. Authorities released a time line detailing the final hours of Bedford resident Denise Robert, 62, a longtime advertising sales representative and Guild member at the Union Leader Corp.

CWA, Media Sector ‘Heartsick’ Over Journalists’ Murders

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 3:26pm
StaffAugust 26, 2015NewsGuild-CWA

Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed while doing a live TV interview Wednesday morning.

 

The following statement was issued jointly by NewsGuild, NABET and CWA:

THIS morning’s senseless tragedy in Roanoke, Va., struck close to home for the journalists and other news media workers represented by The NewsGuild-CWA and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA).

We are heartsick over the killings of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Our thoughts and prayers are with their grieving colleagues, friends and families,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “We also pray for the recovery of Vicki Garner, the woman the journalists were interviewing, who was badly wounded.”

The threats journalists face on the job every day do not normally include their coworkers. But tragically, work-related shootings and other violence are not uncommon in the United States. Our members in the media sector and all of the Communications Workers of America are gravely concerned about this issue and committed to helping build safe workplaces.

Whatever the shooter’s motive, two young people who were looking forward to long and happy lives are gone today. We join with WDBJ, the Roanoke community and all those who loved Alison and Adam in mourning their loss.

As Investors Circle, Organized Labor Moves into Digital Media

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 11:59am
Lukas I. AlpertAugust 20, 2015The Wall Street Journal

As online media outlets grow in heft—generating significant revenue and earning eye-popping valuations in investment rounds—their workers are beginning to argue they deserve better compensation and employment protections. But the labor organizing movement is happening at what is arguably the most inopportune moment for the industry, just as it is attracting attention from strategic investors who can inject a huge amount of capital into their fledgling businesses. Big media companies are scouting the space aggressively as they chase young audiences, and while unions won’t necessarily be a hang-up in deals, they won’t be a selling point.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Members Ratify Contract Extension

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 11:12am
Jeff GordonAugust 19, 2015United Media Guild

The Post-Dispatch unit of the United Media Guild approved a three-year contract extension by a 71-23 vote Tuesday afternoon at the newspaper’s downtown building. The extension — the result of expedited bargaining earlier this month — will take effect immediately and run through Sept. 30, 2018. The contract includes 2 percent raises every December from 2015 to 2017.

Growing Numbers of Global Journalists Seeking Asylum

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 10:03am
Allison GrinerAugust 19, 2015Columbia Journalism Review

Mexican journalist Ricardo Chávez Aldana was leaving his home, his job, and his country behind as he hurried across the border into El Paso, Texas in December 2009. He is part of an ever-growing population of journalists forced into exile by fear of persecution. In June, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual “Journalists in Exile” report tallied 82 new cases in the past year alone, based on cases in its Journalist Assistance Program, which offers aid and legal support to vulnerable journalists and their families. The actual number of exiled journalists worldwide might in fact be much higher. Forced exile is “as violent an aggression against press freedom as imprisoning journalists,” said María Salazar-Ferro, coordinator of CPJ’s Journalist Assistance Program. “It’s a very easy, very underreported way of silencing critical voices."

After 13 Months in Iranian Jail, Post Reporter Awaits Verdict

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 9:46am
Carol MorelloAugust 19, 2015The Washington Post

Tuesday is visitors’ day for Jason Rezaian, the day that Iranian authorities permit the imprisoned Washington Post journalist to see his mother and his wife. But this Tuesday’s visit was unlike any other over the past month and a half that Mary Rezaian has been in Iran for her son. They are waiting for an imminent verdict in the case against The Post’s Tehran bureau chief, who has been held for 13 months and is accused of espionage and other crimes. “It’s safe to say he’s steeling himself,” said Mary Rezaian in a phone call after the weekly visit. “He’s preparing himself to hear a verdict other than acquittal. A severe verdict, with a long sentence. We’re preparing ourselves for anything. It would be wonderful, a miracle, if he were acquitted, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”

Amazon a Bruising Workplace Even for White-Collar Employees

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 10:32am
Jodi Kantor & David StreitfeldAugust 17, 2015The New York Times

The New York Times examines Amazon's extreme high-pressure work environment and the costs to employees, who often work 80 or more hours per week. "At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are 'unreasonably high.' The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others... The company, founded and still run by Jeff Bezos, rejects many of the popular management bromides that other corporations at least pay lip service to and has instead designed what many workers call an intricate machine propelling them to achieve Mr. Bezos’ ever-expanding ambitions."

Why the Charges Against Lowery, Reilly in Ferguson are Absurd

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 9:35am
Jonathan PetersAugust 14, 2015Columbia Journalism Review

CJR's Jonathan Peters tears into St. Louis County officials for the "bullshit and highly misguided" charges against journalists Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in connection with their arrest -- and release -- one year ago while covering Ferguson. The arrests seem to have been deliberate and unjustifiable attempts to interfere with the press, and the charges, perversely, memorialize and magnify that interference. I’m hardly out on a limb here. News Guild President Bernie Lunzer called the charges “a gross abuse of power” and a “vile assault on the First Amendment.” Society of Professional Journalists President Dana Neuts said county officials “have learned nothing in the last year about the … rights of journalists to cover the news without interference or threats.” And Committee to Protect Journalists Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said he was “appalled” and that “US authorities have no business hauling reporters into court for doing their jobs, especially on a world story like Ferguson.”

Editorial: The Pentagon's Dangerous Views on Wartime Press

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 10:15am
Editorial BoardAugust 13, 2015The New York Times

The Defense Department earlier this summer released a comprehensive manual outlining its interpretation of the law of war. The 1,176-page document, the first of its kind, includes guidelines on the treatment of journalists covering armed conflicts that would make their work more dangerous, cumbersome and subject to censorship. Those should be repealed immediately.

NewsGuild Seeks 2 Organizers for Digital Media Workers

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 1:59pm
StaffAugust 12, 2015NewsGuild-CWA  Two Special Assignment Organizers Project duration 1-2 years Locations: New York City and Washington, DC     TNG-CWA is seeking experienced, self-motivated organizers to work with digital media workers.   The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America represents over 22,000 news media workers in the US and Canada. Our members work in all areas of the news industry, including print, broadcast and digital operations.    Key responsibilities:   o   Initiate and pursue organizing leads among digital media workers.   o   Direct organizing committee work: keep the committee members on track, motivate them, give them a realistic assessment of progress and inoculate them on employer tactics.    o   Work with local leaders to identify and encourage local members to participate in organizing campaigns and build support for organizing.   o   Assess workers’ support of the union, identify and recruit potential committee members, facilitate committee meetings, and help committee determine timing for going public.   o   Run campaigns with minimal assistance, motivate and dig out committee members, work in a team with other organizers involved in the campaign.   o   Track, compile and analyze campaign data; continuously assess progress of campaign, and develop plans and ideas to move through and over walls.   o   Train organizing committee members.   o   Work effectively with local and national leaders on priority campaigns.     A qualified candidate will:   o   Have at least 3 years organizing experience. o   Be willing to work weekends and long, irregular hours. o   Be able to travel to work locations away from home by car and plane, as needed. o   Communicate effectively verbally, in writing, in electronic transmissions and by social media.     o   Have a solid working knowledge of systematic organizing, ability to use charts and lists and other tools to gather, analyze, and share information about a campaign. o   Have a fundamental commitment to building a diverse and democratic labor movement. o   Be able to communicate effectively and establish a rapport with workers of diverse backgrounds and demographics.  o   Move people to make specific, concrete, commitments and take action.     Salary and Benefits   Pay:  $60,000 to $75,000 (subject to experience and negotiated increases) Medical and dental insurance 401k with match Union representation     Application Deadline: August 27, 2015   How to apply: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, resume and at least two references to NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer  at  blunzer@cwa-union.org. Candidate should indicate whether the application is for the New York or DC position.   

NewsGuild Seeks Experienced Organizer for Interpreters

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 1:56pm
StaffAugust 12, 2015NewsGuild-CWASpecial Assignment Organizer – Project duration 1-2 years   Minneapolis, MN     TNG-CWA is seeking an experienced, self-motivated organizer to work with interpreters both in Minnesota and coordinating national activities.   The NewsGuild-CWA represents Language interpreters in California, Illinois and Minnesota. In addition, TNG has established groups of independent contractor translators and interpreters seeking to improve their conditions of employment without the benefit of collective bargaining.   Key responsibilities:   o   Develop membership among Minnesota independent contractor interpreters in a movement aimed and obtaining employee status and collective bargaining representation. o   Coordinate national efforts among interpreters across the US. o   Coordinate legislative activities, in conjunction with the national union related to interpreter employment rights. o   Oversee participation in conferences related to translation and interpretation. o   Work with local leaders to build community support for interpreter employment rights.   A qualified candidate will:   o   Have at least 3 years organizing experience. o   Be willing to work weekends and long, irregular hours. o   Be able to travel to work locations away from home by car and plane, as needed. o   Effectively communicate both in writing and verbally. o   Have a solid working knowledge of systematic organizing, ability to use charts and lists and other tools to gather, analyze, and share information about a campaign. o   Have a fundamental commitment to building a diverse and democratic labor movement. o   Be able to communicate effectively and establish a rapport with workers of diverse backgrounds and demographics.  o   Move people to make specific, concrete, commitments and take action.       Salary and Benefits   Pay:  $60,000 to $75,000 (subject to experience and negotiated increases) Medical and dental insurance 401k with match Union representation   Application Deadline: August 27, 2015   How to apply: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, resume and at least two references to NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer  at  blunzer@cwa-union.org.

 

Guild Demands St. Louis DA Drop Charges Against Reporters

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 1:35pm
StaffAugust 12, 2015NewsGuild-CWA 

The Guild issued the following statement Wednesday:

 

The NewsGuild-CWA joins with other outraged journalists in demanding that the St. Louis County prosecutor drop the trumped-up charges against two reporters who were arrested a year ago covering the Ferguson protests.

 

Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post were doing absolutely nothing wrong when police stormed the McDonald’s restaurant the journalists were using for a reporting base.

 

While attempting to comply with officers’ orders to leave the restaurant, police decided they weren’t acting quickly enough. As The Washington Post reported, “Lowery said he was given conflicting information about where to exit and was attempting to gather his bag when officers grabbed him, slammed him into a soda machine and placed plastic cuffs on him. Reilly, speaking to the Huffington Post last year, said the police gave the reporters “a countdown like we were 5-year-olds.”

 

The reporters were taken to a holding cell at the Ferguson police station. After a half hour, they were told they could leave without any charges filed.

 

Now, inexplicably and reprehensibly, Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch has made the decision to formally charge the two journalists with trespassing and interfering with a police officer. The counts carry a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in a county jail.

 

“The prosecutor’s actions are a gross abuse of power and a vile assault on the First Amendment,” NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “We are not politely calling on him to drop these charges; we are demanding it. If he refuses, he will be in for the fight of his life as faces the collective and growing wrath of the nation’s journalists and free press advocates.”

 

Guild, Others Urge Obama to Lighten Up on Public Information

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 11:19am
StaffAugust 11, 2015Society of Professional Journalists

The Guild is among more than 50 journalism groups that have signed a letter to President Obama urging him to stop excessive federal controls on public information. “President Obama pledged to lead the most transparent administration in history, but we have yet to see this promise fulfilled,” said David Cuillier, chair of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee. “His term may be coming to a close, but it’s not too late to make some real changes in the way officials work with journalists to improve the accuracy and speed in which important information is relayed to the public."

Outrage: HuffPost, WashPost Reporters Charged in Ferguson

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 9:30am
Michael CalderoneAugust 11, 2015Huffington Post

Reporters from The Huffington Post and Washington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer’s performance, a chilling setback for press freedom coming nearly a year after their arrests in Ferguson, Missouri. The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were arrested while working out of a McDonald's on Aug. 13, 2014, just four days after white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Police claimed the journalists, who were covering the unrest that followed the police killing, didn't leave the restaurant fast enough. Reilly described a police officer shoving his head against glass during his arrest, while Lowery said an officer pushed him into a soda machine. Both Lowery and Reilly were quickly released and not charged with any crime at the time.

Creationism in School, Juvenile Justice Topics Win Barr Award

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 1:22pm
StaffAugust 13, 2015NewsGuild-CWA   A high school student from Georgia and a college student in Boston have won the Guild’s 2015 David S. Barr Award, as selected by members of the Guild’s Executive Board.   Mary Claire Elizabeth Morris, who attends Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, wins for her piece about creationism in the classroom. It was published in her high school paper, “The Southerner Online.”   Morris, 17, took an in-depth look at the subject after a biology teacher included creationism in her lesson plans. Freshmen were given a Power Point assignment that case doubt on evolution and promoted creationism.   Morris interviewed students as well as Skyped with an evolutionary biologist and professor in London. She talked to two attorneys who worked on Supreme Court cases that involved creationism in the classroom. She also interviewed the director of the National Center for Science Education.   “The author wrote on the infiltration of politics and religion in science education and realized that this is not just a debate of evolution versus creationism but a debate involving society versus science -- two different spheres that have to not only coexist but interact in order for either to survive,” the judges said in a statement.   The college award goes to an older student who returned to study at Boston University. John Hilliard, 35, won for “Massachusetts courts fail to shield juveniles in holding areas,” which was published in The Boston Globe.   His article looked at the state’s violations of a federal law requiring courthouses to protect juveniles from being verbally abused or threatened by adult inmates in courthouse holding areas. The violations have resulted in penalties of a half-million dollars, money that had been intended for at-risk youth and intervention programs in the juvenile justice system.   Morris, who will receive $1,000, and Hilliard, who will receive $1,500, are expected to pick up their awards in person Oct. 7 at the Guild’s annual Freedom Fund Awards ceremony.

Is The Washington Post Closing in on The New York Times?

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 9:59am
Ken DoctorAugust 6, 2015Politico

Could it be? An old-fashioned newspaper war, but one fought in the digital trenches? Neither venerable news institution wants to call it a head-to-head battle, but the numbers are beginning to tell us otherwise.

Journalists and Hotel Housekeepers: Why Both Need a Union

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 9:13am
James WarrenAugust 5, 2015Poynter

In a Q&A with Poynter, the president of UNITE-HERE explains why media workers can benefit from unions as much as the service employees his union represents. Poynter asks. "A lot of us in media just simply assume that we now have 24/7 jobs. Our bosses can contact us at any time and we’re expected to produce at any time, day or night. Writing stories, tweeting, posting on Facebook is just part of the job description." D. Taylor responds: "If you are on 24/7, you don’t control your life at all. People will be expected to work hard, yes. But they should also have a quality of life. The reason why people fought for eight-hour days or vacations involved quality of life. As that goes away, your quality of life goes away. And should be able to spend time with your family. And plan a retirement. And have health insurance."