Updated: 55 min 37 sec ago
Erik WempleFebruary 10, 2016The Washington Post
A FOIA request from Gawker has explosed the dubious journalistic practices of former Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder, who, in 2009, was pursuing a copy of a speech that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to make at the Council on Foreign Relations. When he emailed spokesperson Philippe Reines, this back-and-forth resulted: Ambinder asks for a copy of the speech. Reines says he’ll send it, with conditions. Ambinder writes back, “ok." Reines lays out the conditions: 1) You in your own voice describe them as “muscular” 2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something 3) You don’t say you were blackmailed! Ambinder writes, “got it.”
Martin O'HanlonFebruary 8, 2016President, CWA Canada
CWA Canada President Martin O'Hanlon, right, with Halifax Chronicle Herald strikers, who have been on the picket line for three weeks.Open Letter to Halifax Chronicle Herald President Mark Lever Hello Mark, They say the first casualty of war is truth. There must surely be a war going on at the Herald given your recent acrobatic feats of truth-twisting. As a journalist for 25 years, I believe passionately in truth, fairness and justice. That’s why I find it so appalling to see the president of a respected daily newspaper using that paper to peddle propaganda and misinformation. On at least three occasions since Jan. 28, you have used the pages of the Herald in a sad attempt to justify why you forced your “valued” newsroom staff onto the streets. More troubling, you refuse to allow any rebuttal, rejecting the union’s request to run a Letter to the Editor, a shocking breach of journalistic ethics. By ignoring a basic principle of journalism – allowing both sides of a story to be heard – you have abandoned any premise of journalistic integrity and turned the Herald into a propaganda rag, soiling the proud history of the paper and betraying the legacy of Graham Dennis. Since you will not allow a debate in the pages of the paper, I think it unlikely that you will agree to a discussion in any other forum. Nevertheless, I challenge you to face me in a public debate in Halifax so that the people of Nova Scotia can hear both sides of the story in the labour dispute and draw their own conclusions. I await your response. Martin O’Hanlon President, CWA Canada
Dahlia LithwickFebruary 4, 2016Slate
The inditment of activists who attempted to expose alleged criminal wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood has opened another can of worms about who is, and isn't, a journalist. A First Amendment firestorm questions whether the prosecution of David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, "imperiled journalists and journalism and—perhaps more pointedly—whether Daleiden is even a journalist in the first place." Daleiden certainly thinks so. Almost as soon as the indictments were announced, a statement on the CMP website claimed, “The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws.”
Digital First Media WorkersJanuary 29, 2016DFMWorkers.org
In what the Guild's Digital First Media Workers say is the first in an ongoing series on Alden Global Capital, they report that It’s not easy to find information about Alden, the firm that owns most of Digital First Media. Even Alden’s company website oozes an aura of secrecy. The site is accessible only to Alden’s private investors, the homepage displaying a client log-in form, a New York phone number, an email address — and nothing else, though there’s a lovely background photo of an evergreen forest. Because Alden is privately held, it rarely has to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and details are scarce. No investors are named, no specifics are offered as to what they’re investing in.Featured Title: Secretive Club of Millionaires Buying Up America's Newspapers
Peter SzekelyJanuary 28, 2016President, The NewsGuild of New York
New York Guild President Peter Szekely testified Wednesday before the New York City Council Committee on Immigration regarding the survival of ethnic journalism in NYC, including the Guild-represented El Diario newspaper. "We understand that El Diario and other news organizations are privately owned enterprises that need to turn a profit. But, while it’s not written into their charters, they also assume the roles of public trusts. The foreign language press is a pipeline to the city’s immigrant communities. They bring to their readers news that often can’t be found elsewhere and that speaks to them in the language they are most comfortable with. Since an informed citizenry is essential to a free society, the press provides a public service. It is therefore morally incumbent on the owners of these vital enterprises to do all that they can to continue to inform their readers, and it is equally incumbent on government to do all it can to support these enterprises."Featured Title: Szekely: Ethnic Press Publishers have Moral Duty to Readers
Nicholas LemannJanuary 28, 2016The New Yorker
If nonprofit journalism is now becoming a sector, rather than a few cases, then it should organize itself and work up its own version of the traditional advertising-based editorial protections. That will be a struggle, too, but it will build trust with readers and media critics, and protection from editorial meddling. There’s nothing more comforting, for somebody who runs one of these organizations, than being able to tell a prospective funder that there is an inviolable industry-wide rule against, for example, promising how a story will turn out.
StaffJanuary 27, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA
Due to the East Coast blizzard, The NewsGuild-CWA is extending the deadlines to enter the Heywood Broun contest for professional journalists and the David S. Barr student journalism competition.
Entries for both contests must now be postmarked by Friday, Feb. 12.
Click the links below for all details about the contests and how to enter:
Digital First Media WorkersJanuary 26, 2016DFMWorkers.org
When Regina Shainline joined the circulation department at The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa., she never imagined she’d have to take on an extra job just to get by in her chosen profession. But in 2014 she had to hire on at her local Walmart, because while the cost of living soared, her pay didn’t keep up. “It’s not easy,” she says. “I’m 58, and believe me, we’re not luxurious people. We’re just average people trying to pay our bills.” Nearly 1,000 employees at a dozen DFM papers have gone years without raises — in some cases, a decade — while many have had to live with deep cuts in earnings and benefits.Featured Title: DFM Campaign: #NewsMatters -- and So Do News Media Workers!
January 13, 2016Digital First Media Workers
The Guild today is launching a national, coordinated campaign to win fair contracts with wage increases for the nearly 1,000 Guild-represented employees of Digital First Media. The historic campaign will build on the strength of the union's 13 bargaining units at DFM publications and online news sites across the United States, united by a central theme: News Matters. The premise of the News Matters campaign is simple: “Strength in numbers,” summarized David Levengood, a 41-year circulation department employee of The Mercury in Pottstown, Penn. Levengood, at left in photo of Pottstown negotiating committee, began delivering the small community paper at age 11, and has worked there ever since. “They’ve got a lot more power as a national company,” he said, “so we have to exercise the same power to get anywhere now.”Featured Title: Historic National Campaign Fights For Fairness at DFM
Richard KahlenbergJanuary 12, 2016The New York Times
A Century Foundation scholar expertly explains why Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, no win the Supreme Court's hands, is so critical for America — not merely its unions but democracy itself. "A decision in favor of the plaintiff would effectively slam the door on an era in which some conservatives joined liberals in recognizing that vibrant unions help make our democracy work. This is radicalism, not conservatism.”
Jeff GammageJanuary 12, 2016Philly.com
The owner of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com has donated the news organizations to a newly created media institute, the core of a complicated transaction designed to ensure that quality journalism endures in Philadelphia for generations. Philly Guild leaders, quoted in a different story in the city's Business Journal offered both optimism and caution: “This is an avenue the Guild was interested in, and had suggested to Mr. Lenfest in 2013,” local Executive Director Bill Ross said. “I’m very optimistic The Philadelphia Foundation will treat the papers and website like the valuable important resources to our area that you know they are.” Local President Howard Gensler said that "as the Guild had zero warning that such a huge move with potentially huge ramifications to our members and to journalism, was in the works, we can't speak to whether this will be good or bad until we get details."Featured Title: Guild Optimistic But Cautious In Assessing New Business Model
Benjamin MullinJanuary 5, 2016Poynter
U.S. journalists trying to interview Sheldon Adelson about his purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal have been met with silence, but a reporter for the Macau Daily Times had no trouble getting in touch with the billionaire casino mogul to discuss his business designs for the Chinese peninsula. During the discussion, touted as an “exclusive interview at a presidential suite” on the 37th floor of St Regis Macao, Adelson downplayed his involvement with his family’s recent purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "You don’t tell your children what to do, I can’t tell my children what to do. They wanted to buy the newspaper, so they bought the newspaper. I don’t have anything to do with it, I have no financial interest. My money that the children have with which to buy the newspaper is their inheritance. I don’t want to spend money on a newspaper."
Ken DoctorJanuary 5, 2016Capital New York
Executives at New Media Investment Group (or Gatehouse, its legacy name and the name by which it is still referred to in the industry, given the generic new moniker it picked) can be accurately described as “horrified” — thankfully and properly — by the many missteps involved in selling the Las Vegas Review-Journal to billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Company leadership’s first instinct was to hire a crisis management expert. Now it has come to realize that the problem of Las Vegas could more widely affect the view of whole company.
Janelle HartmanDecember 23, 2015The NewsGuild-CWA
BRUCE NELSON retired just a few months shy of 32 years as a Guild rep. While in college, he reported for Minnesota’s St. Cloud Daily Times and tried to organize his coworkers in 1971. Then, “I saw the St. Paul Pioneer Press contract and a salary that was four times what I was getting.” He happily jumped ship, ultimately serving as local president before joining the Guild staff in January 1984.
JIM "RETIRED AND LOVING IT" SCHAUFENBIL was Manchester’s longtime local president while reporting for the Union Leader. He took two leaves in the 1980s, first to work as a TNG organizer and later as AO in Philly. Hired as a staff rep in 1997, “Schauf” says he's not sure he can still name all the locals he served. He was also a TNG pension fund trustee.Guild Rep Darren Carroll: No one has had as profound an influence on our union as Bruce Nelson has. His legacy will endure in the hundreds of people that he recruited, trained, encouraged and mentored, imparting a philosophy to each of them that underpins all that we do: namely, that we build power by sharing it, that we become stronger through the relationships we build with others in our union. In making that fundamental concept central to his work, he helped each of us not simply to become better leaders, but better people. Michael Cabanatuan, past president, Pacific Media Workers Guild; Guild Executive Council member: Being stuck way out here on the Left Coast, I haven't had the opportunity to drag Bruce Nelson or Jim Schaufenbil into a bargaining session with the lovely Hearst Corporation or Digital First negotiators. Or have them walk around the San Francisco Chronicle building with us, demanding decent pay and benefits. And that's a shame. From what I hear from my colleagues on the executive committee and at East Coast locals, Bruce and Jim were incredible advocates for Guild members at a time when we really needed them. My encounters with Jim and Bruce have been limited to Guild conventions, multi-council meetings and occasional appearances they made at Sector Executive Council meetings. Even though I didn't really know them well, it seemed to me that they embodied what we want to see in all Guild reps. They were smart, knowledgeable, compassionate and friendly. Yet they were always fierce advocates for the Guild, its locals and our members. One of the things that makes the Guild special, and different, in my mind is the Guild's approach. Instead of being bullies or bureaucrats, our reps are smart, friendly and professional. Bruce and Jim are great examples -- role models, if you will -- of that style. I'll miss them, and I know the Guild will, too. Milwaukee attorney Barbara Zack Quindel: I worked closely with Bruce during the organizing effort at the two Milwaukee newspapers. Not only was he laser-focused and dedicated to the campaign, he was politically savvy, a great communicator and teacher, and incredibly knowledgeable about this industry. That would have been amazing enough, but when we were preparing for the unit determination hearing at the NLRB, Bruce put together a 20-page legal memo citing cases that supported a single unit for the 2 papers. He could easily have done his job and mine too! Bruce was a model for everything a union rep should be – and most importantly, trained others to carry it on. That the Guild in Milwaukee still stands strong in the face of greater and greater challenges is a testament to the organization Bruce helped build. Guild President Bernie Lunzer: Jim “Schauf” Schaufenbil was a true professional and a friend to all who asked for help. He would always be willing to rework his schedule to help someone who popped up with a problem - no small feat, given the constant demands he had on his time. He earned people’s trust quickly and should be very proud of the service he gave to his union. Bruce Nelson was a lot of things to me in the Guild. He was really my first contact in 1979, got me on my first bargaining committee and was a mentor. I would learn over the years that he constantly sought out new leaders and activists. But he then did more than that - because he would maintain a regular relationship, answering questions and explaining the often bizarre “rituals” that took place in the union, especially in bargaining. He was also always the first to call for change when it was needed. He may well be the smartest person I’ve ever known, a true friend and really a hero to many for his unrelenting advocacy of workers. Jack Norman, Milwaukee Bruce’s first assignment from the International was to help us in Milwaukee organize the city’s two newsrooms in 1983-‘84. We were nervous newbies, uncertain and fearful. Bruce’s instant impact was to make us comfortable, confident and committed. After we won our vote, Bruce showed us how to bargain; prepare grievances; act confident when making demands no matter how repugnant to management; and do it all without disrespecting the other side. The No. 1 lesson he taught and exemplified was: ‘Lead with your ears, not with your mouth.’ I was the president of our local, but in tough situations members would look past me and ask: “What would Bruce do?” He had no patience with union politics and conventions. All that mattered was building member power. I don’t think he ever ‘forgave me’ for running for International office instead of focusing on my local. He was the best mentor I’ve ever had in any field, and is a lifelong friend for both my wife and I. More than three decades after Bruce came to town, the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild is a survivor of one merger, one initial public offering, two corporate takeovers and an ungodly number of job cuts. We’re proud to be part of his legacy. Cet Parks, executive director, Washington-Baltimore Guild We’ve grown to love Bruce at WBNG and he has been vital in all our big bargaining at the Baltimore Sun, BBNA and especially the Washington Post over the past 10 years. On the affectionate side we refer to Bruce as our Wizard Gandalf in trouble times and he leads us Hobbits. He always shows us the best path in difficult bargaining times and we feel safe with him. Speaking of magic, Bruce has the uncanny ability to use the Jedi mind trick on management to think of him as neutral and seriously consider his suggestions while he's working on behalf of Guild. It's truly a unique skill and amazing to watch. In 2007 we were bargaining with the Baltimore Sun coming off terrible negotiation in 2003. Bruce made a big difference throughout the bargaining. During one heated session the parties couldn't agree on anything. We are fighting like cats and dogs. In the middle of the session management's chief negotiator looks across at the end of the table and sincerely says "Bruce what do you think?" I am thinking in my head "don't they know he's on our side?" Bruce spouts some words of wisdom that calms management down and puts us path to meet common ground on the issue. Abracadabra another agreement achieved... Beth Kramer, former member/staffer, Chicago Guild Bruce is directly responsible for my career shift from journalist to Guild activist. He saw a leader in me that I did not know existed. Bruce helped arrange for funding to bring me on board as a full-time mobilizer at my local. This transition from reporter to mobilizer deepened my appreciation and understanding of the term "solidarity." I was volunteering on the mobilizing and communication committees at my local in the months prior to the mass layoff of all the Sun-Times photojournalists. I remember being frustrated at my time limitations due to still having my reporter job to do during the day. Bruce was a rock of advice and support. He worked with leaders at the local and national levels and presto! Funding was granted and I came on board full-time. That opportunity led to me working as an organizer once our contract and photojournalist woes had been resolved. Throughout my entire time working for the Guild, Bruce offered his support and advice freely. I know I would not be where I am today without him and I am grateful for him. Bill O’Meara, retired president, New York Guild: I went to my first New Local Officers Training 27 years ago and who was teaching...Bruce, of course! I immediately knew then that he was a pro and I learned a lot. Then, during my tenure as NY Guild president, I dealt with some of the same management lawyers as Bruce. They always spoke about him with great respect for his knowledge, experience and ability to get a good deal for members. Jim Schaufenbil was always willing to set up camp in New York and help us out for a few weeks in time of need. I was always amazed at his ability to step into a tough situation cold and handle it just right. Not easy to do, but Jim pulled it off time and again. Our members really appreciated it and so did I. Tim O’Brien, president, Albany Guild It's hard to tell just one or two Jim Schaufenbil stories because there are a million of them. He made bargaining fun, even when we were in the battle of our lives. One of my favorite moments of negotiating with Jim was a discussion over health care. In a caucus, we had all agreed we were willing to accept the company's last offer but we'd give it one more push for a slight improvement. When the publisher returned to the table, he suddenly came up with a different idea that sounded fine in the short run but we instantly recognized would be more costly in the long run. Jim didn't skip a beat, and he didn't point out the hidden dangers of the new proposal. He just leaned over the table, stuck out his hand and said "No thanks, we'll accept your previous proposal. We've got a deal." The publisher spluttered, because he now wanted his new offer but what could he do? He reluctantly stuck out his hand and shook Jim's, and the deal was sealed. It was pure genius. Jim had him cornered, but never let on. Not a word was said by either side, though we laughed like crazy afterward. The other moment I will never forget with Jim was during a break in preparing for bargaining. We walked down the street from our local's office to a restaurant. Jim sat down opposite Mike Jarboe, a Guild activist, copy editor and horse racing writer who is also retiring now. Jim began to quiz Mike on who the various Triple Crown winners were. He particularly had Mike stumped at who the first one was. Mike was amazed at Jim's knowledge, knowing which horse won and which year. Mike didn't notice right away that the rest of us were barely able to contain ourselves. Directly on the wall behind Mike was a poster listing all the winners and the years they'd won. Jim didn't know a thing about the subject; he was just picking off facts from the poster behind Mike. When Jim finally clued him in, we all had a long, long laugh. Mike was a very good sport about it. I'll never forget all the great lessons I learned in bargaining from Jim, and I'll never forget the first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton. Liz Evans Scolforo, chair, York Dispatch unit of WBNG: I don't know what I would've done without Bruce’s guidance and assistance over these many, many years. I have been unit chair of The York Dispatch newspaper for more than a decade and also served in various officer positions of (the former) Local 38218 before we merged with Washington-Baltimore Guild. Prior to that my husband, Mark Scolforo, was Dispatch unit chair and local president. Bruce has always been a rock for The York Dispatch and we couldn't have asked for a better adviser -- supportive, patient, level-headed and always coming up with great ideas about how to better our unit and local. He was always willing to drive up to York, Pa., and meet with us, and always understood and empathized with the issues we faced. His wealth of knowledge will be a great loss for TNG/CWA, although he's more than earned his retirement. Bruce is going to be missed. A lot. Liz added in a subsequent email: Having Local 38218 (which consisted of York Dispatch and York Daily Record employees) merge with WBNG was Bruce's idea. There were a lot of contentious issues in our small local, not the least of which being we feared YDR workers would vote to decertify, since about zero of them were showing any interest in the union at all. Bruce not only suggested the merger (which I immediately supported enthusiastically), he was key in all our discussions with WBNG, and he made that merger happen. He has always been a great ally to us. Fred Hanson, Patriot Ledger unit chair, Boston Guild: Watching Schauf in the "bad cop" role at the negotiating table was a thing of beauty. Nobody could do outrage better, and it was sometimes hard to keep a straight face when he got on a roll. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he always remained the optimist. His standard advice after a painful negotiating session was "Keep Smiling.” While it is widely speculated that he was in the audience when the Stones made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, I think his first Stones show was at the Manning Bowl in Lynn. And, he could be wrong sometimes. Like favoring the Stones cover of "Time Is On My Side" over the Irma Thomas original. Carol Rothman, retired TNG-CWA secretary-treasurer: Lucky me. I got to be Jim Schaufenbil's boss twice! I served on the Philly executive board when Jim was hired as our administrative officer. And, I became TNG secretary-treasurer while he was on TNG staff. We didn't always agree, but we've worked together and remained friends for a long, long time. My only complaint would be sometimes he did his job too well. Thankfully, so many members are far better off because of his uncommon dedication and skill.
Molly de Aguiar and Josh StearnsDecember 21, 2015CJR
The future of investigative reporting at the local level will not look like its past. We are in what Chris Anderson, Emily Bell, and Clay Shirky have dubbed a “post-industrial” age for journalism. We’ll never be able to replace the institutions we long relied on to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. What we may be able to do, however, is build something new and different.
Bernie Lunzer, PresidentDecember 17, 2015The NewsGuild-CWA
Taking a page from organizations that do a year- end inventory, here’s a look back, and a look ahead, for The NewsGuild- CWA.Bargaining
Even on their toughest days, our locals are overwhelmingly strong, resourceful, creative and resilient. It’s a source of pride for me and for all of us at Guild headquarters.
The strongest locals of all are those that communicate with their members frequently—not just when bargaining rolls around. Informed members are far more likely to be active members.
Solidarity is like fuel, firing up your local and igniting efforts to build community support. Don’t be fooled by a management team’s poker face. They hate it when they start getting outside pressure to change their unreasonable demands.
Without a union, there wouldn’t be demands—just an employer free to cut wages, benefits and jobs as desired. Because of collective bargaining, we have a voice at the table.
In the big picture, the industry has still failed to create a sustainable business model for today’s media. Google, Facebook and other content aggregators continue to siphon revenue.
We have long argued that our union and members care far more about the future of journalism than do media corporations. Journalists need to be on the front lines of conversations about new ways of doing business.Organizing
Workers who are given the opportunity to organize—without management interference and vulgar anti-union campaigns—usually do it.
We’ve seen that this year in union drives at digital newsrooms. The journalists involved typically have little or no experience with unions. But they understand basic fairness.
It is inspiring to see our new members so highly engaged as they seek first contracts. They are reinventing our union by examining things we take for granted. We support whatever priorities they set for bargaining. Their goals are our goals.
We are actively organizing other groups of workers too, such as interpreters. Already, we have strong interpreter units in California, Minnesota and Illinois.Movement-Building
Our parent union, CWA, has always been a major player in the larger quest for social justice. And I’m proud to see more NewsGuild leaders finding ways to take part, too—ways that still protect the integrity and impartiality of our journalists.
Movement-building is about joining forces with people and organizations that share our values, even if our agendas are different. We are a strong union, and even stronger as part of CWA. As we build alliances beyond our walls, the grassroots momentum grows.
We take our role as a union representing journalists seriously. We fundamentally understand the ethics of journalism in a way no other union does, including the vital principle of objectivity.
But not all Guild-represented jobs require objectivity. And even journalists can find ways to be involved in their communities that don’t cross any lines, such as volunteer work. Members of our Buffalo local, for example, volunteer every year with other community groups for a riverbank cleanup.
At a local level, alliances can put pressure on employers to recognize unions and bargain in good faith. Nationally, alliances help unions fight for fair labor laws that benefit all workers.
If you can be involved in the fight for social justice, we hope you will be—for society’s sake and our own.Staff & Funding
Special funding from CWA is bolstering our organizing and mobilizing campaigns.
Two new organizers are focusing on digital media and a third on interpreters. We can’t reveal details yet, but there is strong interest in our union. Expect to see us expand in 2016.
CWA funds are also supporting bargaining with Gatehouse and Digital First.
At TNG-CWA headquarters, we are ready and eager to help locals in every way possible, from funding to staff assignments, training and more. We have your back.
But ultimately, what your local and the larger Guild needs is you. It is only through member involvement that we can be the strongest, most effective union possible.
Wishing you the best holiday season, whatever your faith or beliefs. Let’s commit to working together for a better new year.
StaffDecember 17, 2015The NewsGuild-CWA
This morning, the CWA Executive Board voted to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. The decision is based on the results of an online poll open to all CWA members in recent weeks. As is the Guild’s tradition, President Bernie Lunzer abstained from the vote. “We do so on behalf of our many members who cover politics and government. The NewsGuild-CWA takes seriously their need to function with full objectivity. We respect and protect that principle,” the Guild said in a statement. The full statement is here:Why The NewsGuild-CWA Abstained from Today’s Vote Since The Newspaper Guild joined the CWA in 1995, the Guild president, who is also a CWA vice president, has abstained from Executive Board votes on U.S. presidential endorsements. We do so on behalf of our many members who cover politics and government. The NewsGuild-CWA takes seriously their need to function with full objectivity. We respect and protect that principle. Abstaining from making an endorsement does not mean that we won’t be urging those members who can and should be involved to be active and support a candidate who shares our labor and social justice values. We will be asking them to help register people to vote, get out the vote and educate fellow members. The message from the leadership of The NewsGuild-CWA is that everyone can play a role in the fight for social justice. Nobody gets a pass. We also stress that all journalists have the constitutional right to cast a vote, and we believe they should exercise that right. Lastly, we remind everyone that the First Amendment protects freedom of association and freedom of speech. The right to unionize is an essential part of the freedom of association. It is critical that we all act to reverse the many years of hostile attacks that have weakened U.S. labor law and contributed, catastrophically, to the fall of America’s middle class.
StaffDecember 16, 2015The NewsGuild-CWA Guild members in Springfield, Illinois, delivered a letter (pictured above) this week to the publisher of The State Journal-Register, telling her politely but firmly that the union is recommending that members don't participate in an employee award celebration scheduled for Friday. Nearly all the unit's members signed it. Here is the text: Dec. 14, 2015 Clarissa Williams, Publisher The State Journal-Register Springfield, Illinois Dear Clarissa: The hard-working members of the Springfield Unit of the United Media Guild appreciate the intent behind your efforts to lift spirits during the holiday season. But our unit is recommending that members not attend this Friday’s Holiday Employee Award Celebration and refrain from participation in the nominating process for awards. We believe that resources devoted to events such as this, including the gift cards and other financial rewards, would be better used to grant overall raises to newsroom employees as part of a fair labor contract. You wrote in a recent SJ-R column that you have the “best product and team in the newspaper industry.” We appreciate those kind words, but they are contradicted by GateHouse Media’s actions at the bargaining table. The company negotiator repeatedly tells Guild members, “This group is not special.” And as we approach our fourth year of contract negotiations, the company continues to resist the Guild’s proposals for pay raises for employees who have gone eight long years without even cost-of-living increases while top company officials receive generous salaries and bonuses every year. We believe the Award Celebration, no matter how well-intentioned, is a misdirection of resources. Our union’s journalists have distinguished themselves in GateHouse, statewide and national journalism competitions. We are the Springfield area's undisputed top source of news and information. We have one of the most-clicked newspaper websites in the country based on the size of our audience. We believe our hard work and high achievements deserve to be rewarded with more than kind words. Instead of participating in a Holiday Award Celebration, we would prefer to see “holiday cheer” dispensed fairly to all of our members -- and not just to a few -- through across-the-board raises and a fair contract. Sincerely, Dean Olsen, Unit Chairman
StaffDecember 14, 2015The NewsGuild-CWA JOB POSTING There is an opening for a sector representative on The NewsGuild-CWA staff. Factors in hiring will be depth of experience in one or all of the following areas: collective bargaining; organizing; mobilizing; arbitration. Experience administering a local is required. The position will be located in the Eastern U.S. The NewsGuild-CWA may choose to move the location of the staffer after a year of employment and as allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. The contractual annual wage rate starts at $61,848.98 but can be higher based on recognition of experience, as defined in the collective bargaining agreement. Frequent travel required. Excellent benefits. The NewsGuild-CWA is an equal opportunity employer. Please apply by sending a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 28, 2015.
Anna ClarkDecember 11, 2015Columbia Journalism Review
When you picture the person leading contract negotiations for the Newspaper Guild at a 180-year-old Midwestern publication, Nolan Rosenkrans probably isn’t who comes to mind. Rosenkrans is an accomplished education reporter at the Toledo Blade, the president of the local Guild unit, and the co-chair of the union negotiating team. He is also 31 years old, with a beard that wouldn’t be out of place in hipster Brooklyn. And, by his own description, he is “not an old ink-stained wretch droning away about the importance of institutional knowledge—not that there’s anything wrong with that.”Featured Title: CJR Turns Spotlight on Toledo Reporter, Local Guild Leader