Photo of the staff of The Southern Illinoisan

Workers denounce plans to sell The Southern Illinoisan

The Unions of Lee Enterprises is denouncing plans by Lee Enterprises to sell The Southern Illinoisan newspaper to Paxton Media Group under terms that will result in the elimination of all the local journalists who currently work for it.

Despite pronouncements by Paxton Media on Oct. 27 that it will foster “community-based journalism” and “expand” coverage through the purchase of The Southern Illinoisan, the entire union-represented newsroom has been told they should clear out their desks by Nov. 24.

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Statement on the Israel-Gaza war

The NewsGuild-CWA, America’s largest union of journalists, strongly condemns the killing of journalists in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon and calls on all parties to ensure the safety of journalists in the region to work without threat or interference. 

The union additionally condemns comments made on Thursday by Benny Gantz, a minister in the Israeli government and former defense minister, who compared journalists to “terrorists” in a post about Hamas’ October 7 massacre in Israel. 

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TVO strikers on the picket line on Halloween in 2023

Workers at TVO ratified a new contract, ending strike

Canadian Media Guild members at TVO ratified a collective agreement with their employer Sunday, ending a 77-day strike by more than 70 workers who produce current affairs, online news, educational programming and other news at the public broadcaster in Ontario.

Other unions, politicians and fans of TVO programming stood up and held the employer to account. The new agreement increases wages 7.5% over three years and provides a pathway for members to change jobs within the organization. Workers will also have access to $500 a year for training and a voluntary buyout program.

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United Media Guild logo

Workers at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri unionize

Last week about 80 lawyers, paralegals and other workers at the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri unionized with the United Media Guild, TNG-CWA Local 36047.

The workers provide high-quality legal services to low-opportunity clients and communities. The group advances justice for low-income and marginalized individuals and families through free legal representation, eduction and supportive services for folks over 65 years old.

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Wisconsin Watch staff wins voluntary recognition, forms union

MADISON/MILWAUKEE – Employees of the investigative news outlet Wisconsin Watch were voluntarily recognized Friday (Nov. 3) by the nonprofit’s board of directors and chief executive officer as the newly formed Wisconsin Watch Union.

That follows 80% of rank-and-file Wisconsin Watch journalists and administrative staffers signing union cards with The NewsGuild-CWA. The staff went public with the unionization effort on Oct. 23 after a monthslong organizing effort.

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Education Week Union logo

Education Week staffers overwhelming vote to unionize


BETHESDA, Md. — The staff of the nonprofit Education Week, a top source of news, research, and analysis on K-12 education nationwide, has officially formed a union with the hopes of securing a more transparent and equitable workplace.

Reporters, visual artists, digital and engagement specialists, marketing and advertising professionals, sales representatives, and other employees across Education Week cast their votes on whether they wanted to be represented by the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild over the past three weeks via mail and in-person ballots. On Nov. 1, the National Labor Relations Board tallied the votes: Of those who voted, 68 percent said yes to a union. The NLRB is expected to certify the election shortly.

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Wisconsin Watch Union

Rank-and-file staff of Wisconsin Watch forms union


MADISON / MILWAUKEE — An overwhelming majority of non-managerial employees of Wisconsin Watch, an award-winning, nonprofit newsroom, announced Monday they had organized as the Wisconsin Watch Union.

Members of the union organizing committee presented Wisconsin Watch CEO George Stanley, Wisconsin Watch Board of Directors Chair Brant Houston and other members of the organization’s board of directors with a request for voluntary recognition after 80% of eligible staffers signed cards signaling their desire to be represented by Wisconsin Watch Union.

The union will be affiliated with The NewsGuild-CWA, the nation’s largest union for journalists and other news industry workers.

Wisconsin Watch Union will represent around 10 workers across the business and editorial sides of the organization, including staffers, fellows and interns.

“I’m organizing because I love Wisconsin Watch and want it to become its best possible self: a thriving and inclusive organization,” said Phoebe Petrovic, Wisconsin Watch’s longest-tenured investigative reporter. “I believe deeply in journalism as a public service, I think this organization is well positioned to serve the people of our state. My colleagues do phenomenal work every day, and I believe creating more democracy in the world is an unequivocal good.”

Petrovic was echoed by investigative reporter Jacob Resneck.

“I hope the public doesn’t misread our organizing as a vote of no confidence against Wisconsin Watch,” said Resneck. “On the contrary, we are doing this because we think it’ll make our organization more resilient in years to come.”

He continued: “Forming a union is the tried-and-true way to inject democracy into your workplace. That’s why my colleagues and I have come together to lead by example.”

In a mission statement distributed throughout the newsroom Monday morning, staff wrote: “For nearly 15 years, Wisconsin Watch has delivered the long-form, thorough investigative reporting our state needs. Our commitment to serving the people of Wisconsin through award-winning journalism remains unwavering.”

“We joined Wisconsin Watch because we believe in its mission: increasing the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism in Wisconsin to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy,” the mission statement continues. “We make Wisconsin Watch. To best fulfill that duty and live the organization’s values, the rank-and-file workers across business and editorial must play a greater role in decision-making about the structural, strategic and financial future of Wisconsin Watch.”

Wisconsin Watch staff members’ union campaign comes amid an upsurge in successful organizing drives in newsrooms across the country. For example, workers at fellow nonprofit newsroom ProPublica won voluntary recognition in August.

Founded in 2009, Wisconsin Watch is a nationally recognized nonprofit newsroom that began as the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Until July, it was led by its co-founders, Andy and Dee Hall. The married couple retired this summer. George Stanley, former editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has since been tapped to lead the organization as CEO.

DOJ and FTC need to scrutinize news mergers

Yesterday The NewsGuild-CWA submitted comments to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on their “merger guidelines.” Both agencies use these guidelines to evaluate the effect a merger or acquisition might have on competition within individual sectors of the economy. 

“Local news is being murdered by private equity and hedge funds gobbling up and shutting down news organizations,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss. “The federal government needs to wake up and prevent the takeover and destruction of local news.”

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Education Week Union logo

Education Week workers announce union campaign

The staff of Education Week took a major step this week toward forming a union as they seek to ensure a more transparent and equitable workplace.  

Reporters, visual artists, digital and engagement specialists, marketing and advertising professionals, and other employees across Education Week signed cards stating their desire to be represented by the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. On Tuesday morning, employees asked EdWeek’s senior leadership to voluntarily recognize their union—a collaborative approach that many other media organizations have taken. 

But that evening, EdWeek’s senior leadership informed employees that they had rejected their request for voluntary recognition. Employees will now secure recognition by pursuing an election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board.   

“Employees from departments across our organization have come together to say we deserve a seat at the table—a change that can only make Education Week stronger,” said Sarah Schwartz, a staff writer for Education Week. “To do the kind of work that can inspire and empower the education field, we must advocate for ourselves as well. A union will preserve our ability to deliver the high-quality journalism that Education Week readers have relied on for more than 40 years. We’re disappointed that management rejected our request for voluntary recognition, but we’re confident that our strong majority can win an election.”

The NewsGuild-CWA would represent nearly 50 employees of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week, a top nationwide source of news, research, and analysis. Many EdWeek employees say their job is the most fulfilling and meaningful of their careers. Some have stayed at the organization for decades, in part because of the strong relationships they have developed with their colleagues and their respect for senior leadership.

But in recent years, the company has lost many valuable and longtime employees, in part due to stagnant salaries and a lack of opportunities for career advancement. These losses have been particularly detrimental toward the company’s goal of having a diverse workforce: Education Week currently has no Black reporters or editors.

“I fear we aren’t effectively retaining our talented employees or are missing out on a wealth of great prospective employees, because some of our wages haven’t kept up with the rising cost of living,” said Hayley Hardison, a social media producer for EdWeek. She noted that the D.C. metro area has among the highest costs of living in the nation.

While EdWeek senior leadership has recently taken steps toward addressing some of these concerns, employees say they want more of a voice and more transparency in decisionmaking. 

“I believe in the EdWeek Union because I believe in my coworkers,” Hardison said. “I believe in pay equity, managerial transparency, diversity, inclusion, and our right to a seat at the table. I trust that we can hold fair, effective negotiations with our management as we all share the same underlying goal: to advance EdWeek’s mission of empowering K-12 educators with trusted news and insights. I believe that a union will protect all that I love about EdWeek by ensuring that all whom I love at EdWeek are taken care of.”

A mission statement drafted and signed by employees interested in affiliation with the NewsGuild says: “The EdWeek Union’s goal is to strengthen and preserve the best parts of our company—namely, our supportive and family-friendly culture—which lay the foundation for our ability to produce deep, nuanced, and revelatory journalism. The EdWeek Union is fighting for equitable pay, progressive family leave, fair remote work policies, and the continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

For interviews with Education Week staff, please email

About the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild:

The Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild includes more than 2,500 workers at news outlets, nonprofits, and labor organizations. Other notable units include the Washington Post, Bloomberg Industry Group, AFL-CIO, the Baltimore Sun, and Inside Higher Ed. WBNG is a local of The NewsGuild-CWA, which is a sector of the Communications Workers of America.