Newsletter: This Gannett boss thinks working for free builds character

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There is some big U.S. legislative news this week: the jobs tax credit in the Local Journalism Sustainability Act made it into the House Ways and Means Committee recommendations for reconciliation. This means it has a very good chance of becoming law.

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Newsletter: Supporting Afghan journalists and rallying for local news

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The NewsGuild and four other media unions urged President Biden to support journalists, support staff and families who are desperately trying to flee Afghanistan in a letter sent on Aug. 23.

“We have watched the rapid deterioration of the situation inside Afghanistan with great concern for everyone involved,” we said. 

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Newsletter: A lawyer oopsie, a work stoppage and more wins

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Hundreds of New York Times tech workers held a work stoppage last week to protest management’s attempts to prevent about one-third of tech employees, including product designers and data analysts, from voting in their upcoming election on union representation. They also protested other unfair labor practices, such as management illegally asking workers their views about unionizing and saying that workers would get more from management if they stopped organizing. I was fired up speaking to the workers at their rally Wednesday. These workers are innovating the future of journalism and they deserve a voice in their workplace!

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Update on harassment report

Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 4:40 p.m. (with original post below)

For months, our members and our task force were waiting for the arrival of a report from an outside consultant to provide insights on the culture of the Pittsburgh local now and in the past, and offer recommendations for a path forward. The report, which is the result of the listening series conducted by consultant Rebecca Feaster, was originally scheduled to be released today, Wednesday, Aug. 4, as we previously announced in a statement from our task force on Tuesday. 

However, there are concerns that certain aspects of the report could potentially reveal people who want to remain anonymous. Our goal is to protect the members involved in this process and make sure their identities are not revealed. At this time, we feel it best to postpone our timeline, including this week’s meetings. 

Ms. Feaster is revising portions of the report to ensure no individual is able to be identified. The timeline and the changes will be dictated by Ms. Feaster and her ability to complete the work. We will provide updates as soon as they become available. 

We thank all of our members for their continued patience on this awaited and imperative report. We look forward to sharing it with our members and the public, and are ready to work collectively to create the best path forward for our union as a whole. 

—Task force members

Earlier this spring, we hired a consultant to interview members, assess and evaluate the culture of our union’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette unit, as well as identify areas of improvement. The interviews are concluded and the consultant has produced a report. Harassment, a form of discrimination, is prohibited under our parent union’s Policy on Mutual Respect.

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Newsletter: An organizing record!

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I’m just going to start with some very exciting news: last week our union hit a new record.

More workers have joined our union in 2021 than in any year in recent history. That number stands at more than 1,500 workers across 29 workplaces. It started with journalists at the Loveland Reporter-Herald in Colorado and includes Washington state McClatchy papers, Entertainment Weekly, the New York Daily News, MinnPost, the Kansas City Star, the Atlantic, the ACLU of Missouri and many, many others! See the full list here.

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Newsletter: Strike averted! A victory for us all!

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Congratulations to NewsGuild members at The New YorkerPitchfork and Ars Technica, who announced Wednesday that a strike has been averted and an agreement in principle has been reached on historic first contracts with Condé Nast, the publications’ parent company.

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Newsletter: Journalists under attack

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The last few weeks have been marred by serious attacks on democracy, press freedom and journalists at home and abroad.

We’re outraged by the Belarusian government’s use of a military aircraft to ground a civilian plane and arrest a journalist who was a passenger on the flight and by the Israeli government’s intentional bombing of offices housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. We’re also deeply disturbed by the arrest of an American journalist in Myanmar and the ongoing crackdown on the press there since a February coup. These brazen incidents reflect a troubling slide toward authoritarianism around the world.

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NewsGuild denounces Belarus government’s grounding of civilian plane, arrest of journalist

The NewsGuild-CWA condemns in the strongest possible terms the Belarus government’s grounding of a civilian plane and the arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich, who was a passenger on the flight.

We call for Pratasevich’s immediate release and the release of Sofia Sapega, who was traveling with him. 

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