CWADecember 19, 2013YouTube
TNG-CWA is proud to represent ASL video relay service interpreters who are dedicated to ensuring that members of the deaf community can communicate effectively with the hearing world. Learn more about what motivates them and the obstacles, including injuries from overwork, that threaten message accuracy.
StaffDecember 18, 2013The Newspaper Guild of New York
Over and over at a the latest bargaining session between Kaplan and English as a second language teachers represented by the New York Guild, the company said 'no' to the marginal improvements in working conditions the union is seeking. "On issues big and small, the answers were pretty much the same, no matter what the questions were," the NY Guild reports. Kaplan teachers, with support from their students and the labor community, have held rallies, circulated petitions, staged street theater (pictured) and more in their fight for a fair first contract with the education company.
Dean StarkmanDecember 18, 2013Columbia Journalism Review
The reorganized Tribune Company, already driven to bankruptcy by Sam Zell’s 2008 “Deal from Hell,” is about to split in two, separating the relatively healthy TV assets, including superstation WGN, from its eight newspapers, including iconic the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Both papers, of course, played and still play instrumental roles in the civic lives of their communities, helping to keep government honest to the degree that it was honest. And both are now shadows of their former selves, drained of prestige and resources as much by misbegotten financial schemes as by the digital revolution. It was insane levels of debt, remember, that marked TribCo. for doom in the first place. And it’s the same players who underwrote the misbegotten scheme who are now in control of the reorganized company.
Elana BeiserDecember 18, 2013Committee to Protect Journalists
For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world’s leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China. The number of journalists in prison globally decreased from a year earlier but remains close to historical highs, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports. The ten countries jailing the most journalists, starting with the worst, are Turkey, Iran, China, Eritrea, Vietnam, Syria, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Uzbekistan.
Digital First MediaDecember 17, 2013San Jose Mercury News
In a move involving many Guild-represented newspapers, Digital First Media announced Tuesday the merger of its two largest companies — MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media — to create a new media company. The two media companies have a combined $1.3 billion in revenue and have been jointly managed by Digital First Media in New York City. The merger, which has been in the works for more than a year, is expected to be complete within 30 days. “It will be easier to push innovation,” said John Paton, CEO for DFM. “Essentially it creates an enormous amount of efficiency within the company.”
Dan KennedyDecember 17, 2013Media Nation
Media writer Dan Kennedy heaps praise on the Guild-represented staff of The Boston Globe for a massive investigation of the Tsarnaev family and their sons accused in the Boston Marathon bombing; a horrifying story about a local hospital's handling of a sick teenager; and "a remarkable series of tweets" that went viral.
Jeffrey M. JonesDecember 17, 2013Callup Politics
Newspaper reporters are trusted more by Independents and Democrats than by Republicans, but they're still pretty low on the list, according to a Gallup poll asking people to rate the honesty and ethics of professions ranging from police officers to doctors, bankers, auto mechanics, grade school teachers and car salespeople (second lowest, just above lobbyists.) Overall, newspaper reporters have a slight edge over lawyers, and over TV reporters.
Eddie PellsDecember 17, 2013Associated Press via HuffPost
Seen those commercials with celebrities flashing their "Go USA" mittens to support the upcoming Olympic games? Not-so-fun fact: They're made in China. The USOC is charging $14 a pair for the blue gloves that have the word "Go" embroidered in red on the left mitten and "USA" on the right. Also part of that left mitten is the tag, which says the gloves are "100% acrylic," ''One Size Fits Most" and "Made in China."
Janelle HartmanDecember 16, 2013NewsGuild-CWA
Photos: Rothman being sworn in a Guild board member; at a Guild convention; and with her daughter, Lindsey, now 27, at a Guild meeting.
CAROL Rothman has dedicated 40 years to making the workplace fairer, paychecks bigger and life itself better for countless union members.
Now she’s looking forward to one of the benefits she wants all workers to enjoy: Free time. Family time. Balance.
“I hope everyone recognizes when the time comes to leave a job, even a job you love, and give yourself some time to enjoy life,” Rothman says.
As the Guild’s secretary-treasurer since 2008, and decades in Guild leadership roles, friends and colleagues say Rothman has earned her retirement.
“She really cares,” says retired Guild leader Larry Hatfield. “Her very first commitment other than to her daughter is to the members of the Guild, and there’s nothing she’s ever done as far as I can tell that strayed from that commitment.”
Simply put, Hatfield says, “She’s just a hell of a good representative for working people.”
ROTHMAN joined the Guild 43 years ago when she was hired to sell advertising for Philadelphia’s newspapers.
It didn’t take long for her to see the value of the Guild and become an activist, “paying it forward,” as she puts it, after the union helped her with a payroll problem. (See Rothman’s column, p. 5.)
Starting as a shop steward she went on to serve as a Philadelphia Guild unit chair for the Inquirer and Daily News, as a local vice president and as secretary-treasurer. She attended her first Guild convention/sector conference in 1977, missed 1978, but hasn’t skipped another one since.
In 1983, 12 years before the TNG-CWA merger, Rothman was elected as an at-large vice president on what was then the Guild’s International Executive Board.
In 1995, she was elected to the new, post-merger Sector Executive Council, serving as its chair for 13 years. That made her the first woman chair and the longest-tenured chair on both the SEC and the former board. “I am proud to claim that footnote in Guild history,” she says.
In the Guild’s first contested election in 13 years, Rothman ran for secretary-treasurer in 2008 on a ticket with Bernie Lunzer, who ran for president. Both won and were re-elected in 2011.
“Working with her has been a real joy even as the issues we have faced have often been so dire,” Lunzer says. “She doesn’t tolerate inaction or indecisiveness and has been a positive force for change at a critical juncture.”
In 2011, CWA and its sectors changed to four-year terms for elected leaders, meaning the next election is in 2015. Until then, Lunzer has assigned Sara Steffens, a California Guild leader and organizer, to help him handle Rothman’s duties.
Rothman says she’s had a “wonderful team” of staff and officers to help her in her job, which involves everything from nitty-gritty financial details to major budget and constitutional issues.
She’s a detail person, Hatfield says, even though that wasn’t what he thought at first. He met Rothman in the late 1980s when he was elected to the Guild’s board.
“My first impression was that she was kind of aloof,” Hatfield says. “When I got to know her I found out she was just paying attention. She didn’t miss a thing and was always very thoughtful about what she said and what other people were saying.”
And she could be a lot of fun, he says, recalling past Guild conferences.
“I remember Carol and I and Jerry Minkinnen from Chicago sitting through the entire night in the hospitality suite solving every one of the world’s problems,’ Hatfield says. He was spent, while she “showed up bright and cheery at the meeting the next morning.”
“That was kind of characteristic of her—always steady and cool and calm and collected.
ONE thing Rothman won’t miss when she retires at December’s end is the traffic-jammed drive she makes most Friday afternoons and Monday mornings.
It’s her weekend commute to and from Philadelphia, which is still her primary home. Her 27-year-old daughter, Lindsey, lives nearby. Weeknights are spent in a tiny Washington-area apartment, seven Metro stops from her office at Guild headquarters near Capitol Hill.
Of all victories big and small in her career, she says the very best are “when I’ve been able to get the ‘union’ message through to an unbeliever.” She treasures those ‘thank-you’s’ from people who thought they didn’t need the union, then got a promotion or raise because the Guild fought for them.
“Helping members and locals has meant so much to me,” Rothman says. “It has made my life complete, and left me with many lifelong friends.”
David StreitfeldDecember 16, 2013The New York Times
Amazon employees in Germany have been battling the retailer with a series of wildcat strikes, the first strikes against the e-commerce leader anywhere in the world. Today, the strikers are hoping to increase the pressure by taking the battle to the retailer’s Seattle headquarters. A rally is scheduled for 10 a.m. The German workers are represented by Ver.di, the same union that is helping CWA fight for the rights of U.S. workers at the German-owned T-Mobile. “The workers are treated more as robots than human,” said Markus Hoffmann-Achenbach, a Ver.di organizer. “As a worldwide company, Amazon should treat their workers fairly and with respect in every country. The solidarity of American unions and Ver.di is a sign that social movements are not bounded by national borders and that in times of globalization the workers worldwide stand together as one.”
Kenneth QuinnellDecember 13, 2013AFL-CIO
Taking part in a news conference today in Bonn, Germany, headquarters for Deutsche Telekom, CWA President Larry Cohen said he's disappointed by a report showing that the company's European workers outside Germany "suffer many of the same attacks on basic worker rights as T-Mobile workers in the U.S." The report is based on a survey of DT workers in seven countries, including the United States. The others are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Montenegro and Romania.
Mary Ann MilbournDecember 13, 2013Orange County Register
The co-owner and publisher of the Orange County Register announced Thursday that the company will move broadly into Los Angeles County early next year and publish a new, seven-day-a-week newspaper, the Los Angeles Register. “It will be a daily newspaper of not quite the heft of the Orange County Register,” Aaron Kushner said, adding the publication will be larger in total pages than any of the existing newspapers in Los Angeles. In addition, he said, the Register would launch an unspecified number of Los Angeles community weeklies.
Ken DoctorDecember 12, 2013Nieman Lab
It’s a tablet experiment in cross-pollination. How do you use the 48 square inches of an iPad to expose the depth of public radio — thousands of hours of national programming, local shows, and community news that add up to a window on the world? In southern California, KPCC’s new iPad app is a shape-shifting kind of product, heralding a new local promise — and offering an insight into what a greater shared local/national public radio experience may look like.
Andrew BeaujonDecember 12, 2013Poynter.org
"Man Bites Dog," journalists' legendary description of "news," made it as a real headline in the Desert News this week. Surprisingly, it's the second time this year a paper has used it, according to Poynter. The Des Moines Register ran, "Man bites dog on nose to save wife from brutal attack," in May.
Josh EidelsonDecember 12, 2013Salon.com
Amid workers charging union-busting by an NBC Universal-owned company, MSNBC’s prime-time host Chris Hayes recently met privately with a group of them to hear their concerns, according to several people present. Hayes is one of five prime-time MSNBC hosts – along with Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz – whose support is being sought by the Writers Guild of America–East in an ugly labor struggle with Peacock Production. The company is owned by NBC Universal and has produced programming for MSNBC.
Conor FriedersdorfDecember 11, 2013The Atlantic
Examining media coverage and testimony about NSA surveillance, The Atlantic explains how government officials' slick choice of words is leading the public astray. For example, " Obama Administration officials spoke about the collection of cell-phone location data in ways that were often technically accurate but wildly deceptive. In so doing, they succeeded in confusing the surveillance debate and creating the inaccurate impression that location data wasn't being collected."
Erik WempleDecember 11, 2013The Washington Post
Rachel Maddow has been tapped to write a Washington Post column once a month over six months. Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt said he doesn’t perform any sort of ideological accounting before bringing on someone like Maddow, a staunch liberal. “Our goal is to have the smartest, most original commentary about Washington and its issues from left to right,” said Hiatt, noting that the spectrum is “pretty well represented.”
David SimonDecember 11, 2013The Guardian
The Guardian runs an edited portion of an impromtu speech by David Simon on the vast divide between rich and poor in the United States. Simon, creator of "The Wire" and a former Baltimore Sun police reporter and Guild member, spoke at the "Festival of Dangerous Ideas" in Sydney. "Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It's astonishing to me. People are saying I don't need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I'm not connected to society. I don't care how the road got built, I don't care where the firefighter comes from, I don't care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It's the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar."
StaffDecember 10, 2013Toledo Blade
Toledo Guild members are shocked and devastated by Monday's stabbing death of Mary Bertolina, a circulation district manager at the Toledo Blade and longtime member of the Guild local. Bertolina's son, 34, has been charged with murder. Local President Debbie Riley-Jackson sent this message to Guild headquarters: "The Guild is asking our members to wear black on Friday 12-13-13 in honor of Mary. We would like all members to stand and hold a moment of silence at twelve noon on Friday. If that time doesn't work please find a time to keep Mary in your thoughts and prayers."
Jackie TortoraDecember 9, 2013AFL-CIO
The AFL-CIO, borrowing from the excellent union products site, Labor 411, provides a list of gifts and companies that will make your holiday season a union-made-in-America celebration.