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What Law Did Blade Reporters Break? The Army Won't Say

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:03pm
Jonathan PetersApril 17, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

After military police detained two Toledo Blade journalists (Guild members Jetta Fraser and Tyrel Linkhorn) last month outside a military manufacturing plant, an Army spokesman said the journalists had violated “Federal law and Army Regulations” by photographing the facility. But which law, and which regulations? The Army didn’t say at the time—and it won’t say now. We have a pretty good idea, though, and it could present the first constitutional challenge to a statute that’s been on the books since the World War II era.

Busy Multi-Council Meeting Keeps Members on Their Toes

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:21pm
Janelle HartmanApril 17, 2014NewsGuild-CWA

Note: Dozens more photos are available on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TheNewspaperGuildCWA. Even if you don't have a Facebook account, you should be able to access the photos.


First photo: The Guild audience gets an early Saturday welcome from CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins, who spoke about the need for movement-buliding, while recognizing the ethical restraints on Guild journalists. Second photo: CWA Canada Director Martin O'Hanlon gives his report as TNG President Bernie Lunzer, Acting Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and Collins look on. Third photo: Lunzer speaking at the "movement-building" workshop.


A jam-packed weekend of learning, sharing and networking, otherwise known as the Guild’s Multi-Council meeting, is getting overwhelmingly positive feedback – and a little constructive criticism.

Sixty-two Guild members from locals across the country gathered in Orlando April 11-13 for workshops, panel discussions, training on the Affordable Care Act and more.

“This was my first time attending a TNG-CWA meeting,” said Linda Hall-Brown, secretary-treasurer of the Memphis Guild. “I had a wonderful time. I learned so much, and everyone was so nice and easy to talk to. I’m looking forward to the next meeting.”

"I've attended many Guild conferences over the years, and this one was the best,” Albany President Tim O’Brien said. “Barbara Saxberg (Canada East vice president) started us off right with her presentation that gave excellent advice on how to connect with our members. And the lesson on how to negotiate health care under Obamacare was highly informative and the main reason we sent four delegates. That information will be very helpful, especially if we face efforts to shift costs and blame the Affordable Care Act.”

Saxberg’s “Go, Listen, Build” workshop and the meticulous ACA presentation by CWA researcher Ilana Boivie were just two of the meeting’s popular sessions. Another looked at the movement-building effort among unions and social justice groups, and how the Guild could or should be involved. And O’Brien left out the smashing success of his own local’s presentation about workplace bullying.

Newspaper Guild President Bernie Lunzer said he’s heard good feedback about those sessions and the conference overall.

“I think the Multi-Council was a huge success,” Lunzer said. “The training seemed to be the right content with excellent presenters. The discussion on activism in the Guild was fantastic with a fair amount of consensus on where the lines are drawn. We’ll have to work to make sure local reports are done more effectively because so much is gleaned from them.”

In his opening speech, Lunzer announced that he will run again for president of the Guild in 2015 on a unity ticket with acting Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and International Chair Martha Waggoner. To date, no other candidates have thrown their hats in the ring.

As Lunzer noted, changing the schedule for local reports – when representatives of each local share their victories and challenges – was one of the “constructive criticisms” participants offered. The reports are the last item on the agenda, on Sunday morning this year, and some Guild members had to leave early to catch their planes.

“The session was extremely useful and important, so much so that I think its visibility should be raised,” said Bob Kozma, president of IAPE-CWA, the Guild local representing Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal. “These reports are the nuts-and-bolts of what we do. Learning what is happening in other locals, I think, is too important to be scheduled as the last session.”

Two sessions on the conference’s first day touched on subjects that are problematic for Guild-represented journalists – in what ways can members get involved in the larger movement for social justice?

Guild Administrative Director Tim Schick urged locals to take up non-partisan voter registration activities, at least to the point of ensuring that all the local’s members are registered. Often, when people move or marry and change their name, for instance, they forget to change their voter registration, Schick said.

Later Friday, Sara Steffens, the Guild’s acting secretary-treasurer, led a energetic workshop on movement building that began by asking each table of attendees to examine a list of activities and issues to determine which ones were definitely OK for Guild members, which were “sometimes” and which were “no’s.”  The list included joining groups such as the NAACP and SPJ, fighting to keep public records open, fighting for a minimum wage hike and immigration reform, and much more.

A table of largely Chicago members and another that included AP members were the only groups that didn’t say “no” to anything. Chicago leaders explained that representing many non-journalists – newspaper workers outside the newsroom and the local’s unit of translators and interpreters – meant that nothing was off-limits to everyone.

"Our members never fail to bring a thoughtful, creative approach to our shared issues,” Steffens said. “I was particularly struck by this during the 'Movement Building' discussion. Not everyone agrees on what level of activism is appropriate, but everyone was respectful, willing to listen and mindful of our needs to adapt and change. As we passed the mic around the room, you could feel a consensus emerging on some of the areas where it's OK to intensify our voices and stand in solidarity with the rest of the labor movement.”

Mike Bucsko, administrative officer of the Minnesota Guild, said Steffens “did a great job getting people involved in the discussion about a topic many in the room felt strongly about.”

Bucsko was part of a panel at the session that also featured Peoria Unit Chair Phil Luciano and Grace Catania, chair of the Chicago Guild’s unit of Cook County interpreters.

An ebullient Guild activist, Catania said everyone has something to contribute to the cause of workers’ rights and social justice.

“Using our strengths we need to work from the inside out, starting with our own sector, then adding other CWA sectors, then adding other unions,” she said. “We then can coalesce with the community groups, faith groups, and environmental groups that share our progressive issues. When we help those outside groups, something wonderful happens -- they will help us.”

Luciano, who got Peoria's mayor and well-known pastors to stand with his unit in its 2012 contract fight, was impassioned about the urgency of Guild members speaking up and getting involved -- for their own sake at the very least.

"For too long, reporters and other newsroom personnel have been too timid about the notion of standing up for themselves in public when it comes to workplace fairness," Luciano said, revisiting the issue a few days after the panel discussion. "Objectivity is great -- a necessity of everyday journalism. But when it comes to justice, we certainly have the right to join that conversation, one we should join loudly. When we have workplace issues and concerns, we're no different than a bricklayer or a cop or a teacher or any other worker."

Steffens' report the next morning on the Guild’s Growth Fund initiatives –projects to strengthen ties to freelancers, journalism students, Spanish-language media workers, interpreters and First Amendment advocates, was also valuable, said Shannon Duffy, administrator of the St. Louis-based United Media Guild.

“Most internationals would never share that information, much less explain it,” said Duffy, who worked for other unions before the Guild. “It’s a good road map for locals to get active.”

The Affordable Care Act presentation earlier Saturday helped participants understand the complicated health care reform law and how it may affect bargaining.

“The ACA presentation was informative and concise, certainly not an easy task for such a complex subject,” said Maine administrative officer Kathy Munroe.

The last session Saturday before locals went to regional meetings was a big hit: A well prepared and rehearsed presentation from the Albany Guild on workplace bullying. The local has been dealing with issues far beyond acceptable management criticism and discipline, especially in the advertising department at the Times-Union. Over the winter, the local arranged for an expert in workplace bullying to lead a training session on a Saturday. (Read more about that HERE.)

O’Brien, the local president, Lindsay Connors, first vice president, Adam McAvoy, third vice president and Brian Nearing, chief steward, demonstrated and discussed workplace bullying and ways to fight back.

“The folks from Albany did a great job,” New York Guild President Bill O’Meara said. “It was an informative, great presentation with practical information that can be used by just about any local.”

“We were reminded again that Guild members make some of the best teachers,” Steffens said. “We were all impressed and inspired.”

Connors, who led much of the presentation, was also the winner of the Guild’s top award, the Service Award given for outstanding local leadership. “She has done so much for the union, it is impossible to document it all,” O’Brien said. (Click HERE for more about Connors’ work.)

Saturday was capped by a retirement party for newly retired Secretary-Treasurer Carol Rothman, which doubled as an opportunity for Guild members to get to know each other.

“I always learn at these gatherings and this was another case of that,” Indianapolis President Bobby King said. “Some of the most valuable time is chatting with Guild veterans and learning from their experiences.”

For O’Brien, besides the highlight of “our amazing colleague” receiving the Service Award, the most unforgettable moment came in the conference’s first session.

“The biggest takeaway was a seemingly simple but truly great insight from Barbara (Saxberg). We have pledged to stop referring to the Guild as 'the union.' It is my union, it is our union. That simple change of one word makes clear to members: This organization is yours. Be proud of it. Take ownership of it. Be involved with it. It's not 'the' union. It's your union.”







Albany Guild 1st VP Lindsay Connors with the Guild Service Award, presented to her by Executive Council member Mike Cabanatuan. Photo above, a standing ovation as Connors accepts the award.

Kaplan English Teachers Overwhelmingly Ratify 1st Contract

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:59am
StaffApril 17, 2014The Newspaper Guild of New York

The following is a news release from the New York Guild:


NEW YORK – English teachers at Kaplan International Centers, represented by the Newspaper Guild of New York, yesterday voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract, one that would provide raises and workplace protections. In doing so, they joined a small handful of teachers in the world of for-profit education to have union contracts.

In June 2012, Kaplan teachers, who teach English as a second language (ESL) at three Manhattan facilities, voted overwhelmingly for Guild representation in hopes of ending unfair terminations and winning basic benefits for the largely part-time workforce. In November 2012, they went to the bargaining table seeking a fair first contract. On April 14, 2014, the Guild announced that it had tentatively reached a contract with Kaplan management.

“By banding together to form a union and taking bold steps to fight for a first contract that provides basic workplace protections, these teachers, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s, are an inspiration to their generation,” said Guild President Bill O’Meara. “These are educated workers who knew they deserved more than they were getting and knew they needed a union to get it.”
The contract will give all Kaplan teachers a wage increase, access to a matching 401(k) plan and job security protections. It also would make some part-time teachers eligible for benefits for the first time.                                      

“I am proud that my colleagues voted to ratify this contract, and for their actions over the past two years demanding that Kaplan provide basic fairness to teachers,” said Emily Lessem, a teacher who chairs the Guild unit at the school. “While this contract is far from perfect, it will provide job protections and benefits and have a powerful impact on Kaplan teachers in New York City and across the country.”

Kaplan, a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Co. [NYSE: GHC], offers ESL classes in several other cities in the United States and around the world, in addition to its other educational branches.

The two-year contract will provide:

·       An increase in the rate for class prep time to $12 an hour from $8 an hour

·       A company-paid subsidy of $20.33 per pay period toward the cost of health insurance

·       A 401(k) matching contribution of 1 percent for part-time employees

·       A 401(k) matching contribution of 2 percent for full-time employees, with an increase to a match of 3 percent after five years of service

·       Creation of a new position, senior part-time teacher, which will get paid holidays, vacations and personal days. If the contract is ratified, 15 current part-timers, out of a workforce of more than 60, will be promoted into the senior category, while the seven current full-time teachers in New York already receive paid holidays and vacations.

·       Paid bereavement leave for all employees

·       A minimum hourly rate for all employees

·       Protections from subcontracting of work

·       A clear discipline process


The contract, which takes effect immediately, will expire in two years.


About the Newspaper Guild of New York

The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents more than 2800 journalists and other employees, mostly at New York area-based news organizations, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters and Time Inc. It was launched in 1934 by a group of journalists that included crusading columnist Heywood Broun.

Perelman May Back Philadelphia Guild's Bid for Newspapers

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:51am
Associated PressApril 17, 2014The Washington Post

Philadelphia newspaper employees hope to mount a bid in the latest sale of their company with help from local philanthropist Raymond Perelman, Philadelphia Guild Executive Director Bill Ross told a judge Wednesday. Perelman, now in his mid-90s, has been interested in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News for years, and bid on them in 2010. The upcoming auction of the company, which also operates the Philly.com website, comes amid a feud between rival owners George Norcross and Lewis Katz. The testimony came during a hearing that will determine rules for the auction. The hearing resumes April 24.

Milbank: Some Condemning Pulitzer for NSA Leak Stories

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:54pm
Dana MilbankApril 16, 2014The Washington Post

On Monday, my Washington Post colleagues celebrated winning the Pulitzer Prize for public service along with the Guardian newspaper for their reporting on Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency. On Wednesday, Post columnist Marc Thiessen held a counterdemonstration. Thiessen, who writes a weekly online column for The Post, hosted an event at the American Enterprise Institute devoted in large part to denouncing the Guardian, The Post and the Pulitzer committee for their actions. Thiessen, also an AEI fellow, said journalists at The Post — “my newspaper,” as he put it — should not have published the articles and had done something “incredibly damaging” to national security.

Guild Members Shine as Winners of 2014 Pulitzer Prizes

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:40pm
Janelle HartmanApril 14, 2014NewsGuild-CWA


New York Times journalists honor photographers Tyler Hicks. first photo, and Josh Haner, second photo, both Guild members who won Pulitzer Prizes today. The photos were provided to the New York Guild by the New York Times. Hicks photo credit: Ruth Fremson; Haner photo; Richard Perry.


Once again, more than half of the Pulitzer Prizes announced today went to journalists in Newspaper Guild-represented newsrooms, with both individual members and Guild-represented staffs named as top winners and finalists.


"We take enormous pride in the fact that Guild members and the news organizations they work for represent the very best of American journalism," TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. "The Pulitzers, like the Guild's coveted Heywood Broun award, illustrate how and why quality journalism is essential to our democracy. You don't get an informed citizenry by recycling news releases online. And that's what fills a lot of space when newsrooms are cut to the bone. The Guild is committed to the fight to preserve -- and restore -- good jobs for dedicated journalists like today's winners."


Here are Guild members and staffs that won 2014 Pulitzers:


* The Guild-represented Washington Post newsroom shares the Public Service award with The Guardian US for "its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security."


 * The staff of The Boston Globe receives the Breaking News Reporting award for "its exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that enveloped the city, using photography and a range of digital tools to capture the full impact of the tragedy."


* Eli Saslow of The Washington Post wins the Explanatory Reporting award for "his unsettling and nuanced reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America, forcing readers to grapple with issues of poverty and dependency."


* Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer wins for Criticism for "her criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise."


* The New York Times' Tyler Hicks receives the Breaking News Photography award for "his compelling pictures that showed skill and bravery in documenting the unfolding terrorist attack at Westgate mall in Kenya."


* Josh Haner, also of The New York Times, receives the Feature Photography award for "his moving essay on a Boston Marathon bomb blast victim who lost most of both legs and now is painfully rebuilding his life."


The following Guild members and staffs were finalists for this year's Pulitzers:


* The Washington Post for Breaking News Reporting for "its alert, in-depth coverage of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, employing a mix of platforms to tell a developing story with accuracy and sensitivity."


* Reuters' Megan Twohey for Investigative Reporting for "her exposure of an underground Internet marketplace where parents could bypass social welfare regulations and get rid of children they had adopted overseas but no longer wanted, the stories triggering governmental action to curb the practice."


* Dennis Overbye of The New York Times for Explanatory Reporting for "his authoritative illumination of the race by two competing teams of 3,000 scientists and technicians over a seven-year period to discover what physicists call the 'God particle.'"


* Also for Investigative Reporting, Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee for his work with a colleague on a "probe of a Las Vegas mental hospital that used commercial buses to "dump" more than 1,500 psychiatric patients in 48 states over five years, reporting that brought an end to the practice and the firing of hospital employees."


* Jon Hilsenrath of The Wall Street Journal for National Reporting. He and a colleague are honored for "their reports and searchable database on the nation’s often overlooked factories and research centers that once produced nuclear weapons and now pose contamination risks."


* Mark Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for Feature Writing for "his meticulously told tale about a group of first-year medical students in their gross anatomy class and the relationships they develop with one another and the nameless corpse on the table, an account enhanced by multimedia elements."


* Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe for Commentary for "his street-wise local columns that capture the spirit of a city, especially after its famed Marathon was devastated by terrorist bombings."


* John Tiumacki and David L. Ryan of The Boston Globe for Breaking News Photography for "their searing photographs that captured the shock, chaos and heroism after the bloody Boston Marathon bombings."


* Lacy Atkins of the San Francisco Chronicle for Feature Photography for "her revealing portrait of an Oakland school’s efforts to help African-American boys avoid neighborhood risks and profit from education."





Small Missouri Paper Scores Big Open-Records Win

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:12am
Greg GrisolanoApril 14, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

Looking into controversies that could affect a city election, The Joplin Globe secured a court order that upheld an expansive reading of the state’s Sunshine Law and forced the complete findings of a municipal investigation into public view before Election Day. After obtaining the records—nine previously-withheld pages of the investigator’s report, plus hundreds of pages of testimony transcripts—on the Friday before the election, the paper turned out a series of stories based on the documents. Newsroom staffers also worked through the weekend to upload the entire packet of information to the paper’s website, so the local residents could access the information before the election. Part ofl the controversy had to do with contracts for rebuilding after Joplin's horrific tornado in 2011. Among the dead were two CWA members who were trapped inside a Verizon store that was demolished in the storm.

Slain AP Photojournalist Captured Humanity Amid Chaos

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:46am
StaffApril 14, 2014The Associated Press

Hundreds of mourners packed a church in central Germany on Saturday to remember Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan last week after a life spent between the chaos of war and the serenity of her rural birthplace. A priest read out a letter from AP special correspondent Kathy Gannon, who was wounded in the April 4 attack that killed Niedringhaus. Gannon, 60, and Niedringhaus, 48, often teamed up on assignments. Gannon recalled some of Niedringhaus' last words: "I am so happy." "You were so happy," the letter read. "Your heart knew no bounds. You wanted to help everyone."

Guild at P-D: Bonuses Should Have Gone to Workers

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:36am
Terry GaneyApril 14, 2014Gateway Journalism Review

Gateway Journalism Review looks at the fat bonuses given to Gatehouse executives recently, while Guild members at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch haven't had a raise in six years and are paying more "for the worst company health insurance we’ve ever had.” said reporter Michael Sorkin in a Facebook post. United Media Guild administrative officer Shannon Duffy said members are happy that Gatehouse was able to restructure its debt, leading to the bonuses, but not happy about how the money was distributed. "“We continue to root hard for that company to be successful,” Duffy said. “We and our members are obviously tethered to it. That being said, I was disappointed their first reaction, almost reflexive on their part, was to give more money to the people at the top when the people further down the ladder had been working, pulling double and triple duty, for less money."

Severe CBC Cuts Hurting Workers and Viewers in Canada

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:21am
StaffApril 14, 2014Canadian Media Guild

Canadian Media Guild leaders across the country are helping members deal with the devastating new round of layoffs announced late last week. A total of 657 positions, including 318 Guild members' jobs, will be lost over the next two years as the public broadcaster works to deal with a $130 million revenue shortfall from the loss of NHL hockey and government budget cuts. The new cuts will affect all areas at CBC with sports, news and sales taking a big hit.

Hard Fight Leads NY Guild to Tentative Contract with Kaplan

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 7:24am
StaffApril 14, 2014The Newspaper Guild of New York

After nearly two years, the New York Guild has reached a tentative contract with Kaplan International Centers that would provide protections and a voice in the workplace for its newest members, English as a second language teachers. The unit will vote on the package April 16.Kaplan teachers initially sought out the Guild in hopes of ending what they saw as wrongful or mysterious terminations, and to get company-paid benefits. Most Kaplan teachers are part-timers with no paid vacations, holidays or sick time, and no medical insurance. If the tentative agreement is ratified, some of those part-time teachers will be eligible for those benefits, as well as a $4 raise, to $12 an hour, for their prep time. Photo: One of the colorful rallies that drew scores of labor supporters for the Kaplan fight.

Privacy Fears Over Feds' Deal with In-Flight Wi-Fi Providers

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:47pm
Kim ZetterApril 9, 2014Wired.com

Gogo, the inflight Wi-Fi provider, is used by millions of airline passengers each year to stay connected while flying the friendly skies. But if you think the long arm of government surveillance doesn’t have a vertical reach, think again. Gogo and others that provide Wi-Fi aboard aircraft must follow the same wiretap provisions that require telecoms and terrestrial ISPs to assist U.S. law enforcement and the NSA in tracking users when so ordered. But they may be doing more than the law requires, and privacy groups are alarmed. According to a letter Gogo submitted to the FCC, the company voluntarily exceeded the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, by adding capabilities to its service at the request of law enforcement.. “CALEA itself is a massive infringement on user’s rights,” says Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Having ISP’s [now] that say that CALEA isn’t enough, we’re going to be even more intrusive in what we collect on people is, honestly, scandalous.”

WashPost's Marty Baron: Optimism is the Only Option

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:38pm
Marty BaronApril 9, 2014Nieman Journalism Lab

"Let’s start with the basics," Marty Baron told his audience at  last weekend's International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin. "We’ve survived. We’re still here. Real journalists doing real journalism. Not too long ago, people said The New York Times would go bankrupt. It didn’t. A few years back, The Boston Globe was threatened with a shutdown (and a gleeful critic advised me, its editor at the time, to practice saying “Would you like fries with that?”) The Globe survived to do outstanding work. About 25 years ago, So the point is, we as an industry and a profession are more resilient than people give us credit for. More resilient than even we give ourselves credit for."

Ohio's Pre-emptive Strike Against College Athletes' Union

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:40am
Kenneth QuinnellApril 9, 2014AFL-CIO

A Republican-backed amendment in the Ohio House was introduced to the state’s budget review this week, one that says that college athletes in Ohio are not employees. While it is a long way from becoming law, it is a pre-emptive statement by legislators in reaction to the movement by Northwestern football players to form a union.

CJR Looks at Toledo Blade Case Against Military Cops, Feds

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 2:33pm
Jonathan PetersApril 8, 2014Columbia Journalism Review

CJR examines the March 28 incident involving a Toledo Blade reporter and photographer, both Guild members, who were detained outside a military manufacturing facility by military police who seized their cameras and deleted photographs. In addition to a variety of First Amendment issues, CJR notes the Blade's outrage over the treatment of Jetta Frasier, the photographer. Throughout the encounter, as the officers handcuffed and questioned Fraser, they addressed her “in terms denoting the masculine gender,” according to the complaint. Fraser asked the officers not to do so, reportedly prompting one to comment, after handcuffing her, “You say you are a female, I’m going to go under your bra.” “That’s what bothered us first and foremost, what they did to her,” said Blade editor Kurt Franck. “I was appalled when I heard it, and I’m still appalled.”

Marnie Perlik, Activist Wife of Late Guild Leader, Dies at 90

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 1:32pm
Janelle Hartman/Perlik FamilyApril 8, 2014


Marion “Marnie” Ford Perlik’s remarkable life began as a globe-trotting “Army brat” and grew into a groundbreaking career as a journalist, union leader, human rights activist and, later in life, a new career as a critical care nurse.

In the late 1940s, as a Chicago-based United Press reporter and Newspaper Guild representative, she recruited a new Guild member, Charles “Chuck” Perlik, Jr., who would become her husband. He would also become the Guild’s longest-serving international president.

“They used to say their marriage was ‘union made,’” the couple’s children say in an obituary for Marnie Perlik, who died April 3 at age 90 in Springfield, Va.

Marnie Perlik was born August 19, 1923, daughter of Christopher Ford, a pilot with the Lafayette Escadrille, and Mary Vanneman, a nurse decorated for valor in France during WWI.  Marnie and her siblings travelled the world to live on posts in the Pacific and Asia with their father after their mother died at an early age.

Marnie majored in journalism at the University of Michigan and was the first woman appointed editor of the Daily, the highest post a woman a woman had achieved on campus at that time. In addition to campus activities, she worked the night shift at an Ann Arbor defense plant.  Upon graduation, she was one of the few women newspaper reporters hired by United Press, first working in Detroit.

UPI transferred Marnie to Chicago, where she also served as a union representative for The Newspaper Guild. There she met and recruited her future husband -- a new UPI reporter just back from World War II -- into the Guild. The couple married in January 1948.

As Chuck Perlik’s career with the Guild continued, Marnie left newspaper reporting to be a fulltime mother to their three children. An active volunteer, she was committed to community service and social justice issues.  She was an award-winning record-setting blood donor and organized many blood drives.

For 50 years Marnie served as an Election Officer, never missing an election.  She was an advocate for civil rights, and she and her husband marched with Martin Luther King in 1963.

She gave her time to the National Coalition for the Homeless and spent many weekends serving those in the shelters of Washington, D.C.  She was also one of the founding members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Va.

Marnie began her second career as a registered nurse after she returned to college at age 50 to earn her nursing degree.  She provided compassionate care to patients in the Critical Care Unit at Fairfax Hospital for the next 15 years.  During both of her careers she received many awards and commemorations for excellence.

Marnie’s travels never ended.  From her early travels in Asia/Pacific to camping with family in the national parks or at the beach, or on domestic and international business trips with her husband, she was always on a roll.  The couple’s RV life began with Chuck Perlik’s retirement and for 15 years they enjoyed many RV rallies across the United States and Canada. They had been married for 60 years when Chuck (pictured at left) died in 2008.

She is deeply loved and cherished by her surviving family: her son Paul and daughter-in-law, Leslie; son Stephen and daughter-in-law, Patti; daughter Lesley Thomas and son-in-law, Tom; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

In addition to her husband, Marnie was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings. A Celebration of Life will be on April 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Chapel at Greenspring Retirement Community, Springfield, Va.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Greenspring Benevolent Fund.


Gene Weingarten: Crossing the Line on Journalism Ethics?

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 12:26pm
StaffApril 8, 2014Nieman Storyboard

Prompted by a question in an online chat Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten posted this link to a transcript of a talk he gave he 2011 in which he presented two serious-yet-humorous "case studies" on ethics from his long career as a journalism. "I am a notoriously terrible public speaker," Weingarten told his audience. "But then I realized that there is actually something that I want to talk about. I want to talk about the events of a single second and a half in my career as a journalist. It was a moment at which the entire withered soul of long-form journalism lay naked and trembling before me. Questions were answered and resolved about the ethics of journalism that it took Janet Malcolm a whole book to address and then fail to answer. A past Guild member, Weingarten is officially retired, but contracts to write weekly columns and occasional features for the Post. Photo: Weingarten with his dog, a picture from a Guild brochure.

Snowden: NSA Has Spied on Human Rights Workers

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:57am
Luke HardingApril 8, 2014The Guardian

The United States has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations, Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe's top human rights body. Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. He told council members: "The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States." Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged.

Philly Guild Can Join Inquirer Parent's Dispute, May Bid

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:08am
David SellApril 8, 2014Philly.com

The Philadelphia Newspaper Guild, the largest employee union at the parent company of The Inquirer can join the legal dispute between rival owners and can potentially make its own bid for its newspapers and websites, a Delaware judge ruled Monday. “I’m thrilled,” said Guild Executive Director Bill Ross, whose local represents about 550 of the nearly 1,800 employees at Interstate General Media Holdings L.L.C. IGM also owns the Philadelphia Daily News, three websites, and a printing plant. “I think the judge recognized our involvement. Once it is determined which type of auction it will be, I think we’ll be in a position to discuss who our potential bidders might be.”

Al-Jazeera Journalists Mark 100 Days Captivity in Egypt

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:32am
StaffApril 8, 2014BBC News

Media organisations are renewing a call for the release of three al-Jazeera journalists who have been held for 100 days since being arrested in Egypt. The trio, including former BBC reporter Peter Greste, went on trial in February, accused of spreading false news and aiding a terrorist group. They deny the charges, labelled by al-Jazeera as "absurd". The case has drawn widespread condemnation from international media and human rights groups. On Monday, journalists launched a Twitter campaign posting images of themselves with black tape over their mouths at #freejournalism to highlight the increasing threat against reporters around the world.