BuzzFeed News Union members ratify first contract

Members of the BuzzFeed News Union voted unanimously on Friday to ratify their first contract.

“Several members of the union bargaining committee started at BuzzFeed making less than $40,000 a year,” they said in a press statement. “Today, we ratified a contract that sets a salary floor for union jobs at $60,000.”

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Journalists at Bangor Daily News are unionizing

May 11, 2022 – Update: It’s official! Management of the Bangor Daily News has formally recognized the Bangor Daily News Union.

May 6, 2022 – Update: The Bangor Daily News “has indicated it will voluntarily recognize our union,” union members tweeted on Friday. “We know this is so because we effectively organized our co-workers and demonstrated strong solidarity,” they said.

May 4, 2022 – Newsroom staffers of the Bangor Daily News and Bangor Publishing announced Wednesday that they are unionizing with The News Guild of Maine, Local 31128.

“We choose to work here because we value an independent press, and because we are committed to reporting the truth about local governments, schools and institutions, and to telling the stories of Mainers,” they said in a press statement.

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Journalism groups ask Pulitzers to require transparency on diversity

Update: April 29, 2022
Our request to the Pulitzer Prizes is really gaining traction! One week ago, more than 50 journalism organizations joined us in asking them to make reporting on newsroom diversity a requirement for award eligibility. More than 160 journalism groups are now supporting the effort.

We have asked that the Pulitzer Prizes plan to announce its intent on or before unveiling the 2022 awards on May 9, 2022. We pointed out that our appeal gives the Pulitzers more than a year to figure out the details of implementation and offered our support to help make this commitment a reality.

(Originally published April 22, 2022) This morning the Guild and more than 50 groups representing journalists across the U.S. called on the Pulitzer Prizes to make participation in an annual diversity survey a condition of eligibility for awards.

Last week Harvard’s Nieman Lab reported that just 303 of 2,500 print and online news organizations responded to a News Leaders Association survey, which has been collecting demographic data for more than 40 years. (The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors joined forces to form the News Leaders Association in 2019.)

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America needs stronger reviews of news company mergers 

Gannett and GateHouse merged in 2019.

Alden Global Capital gobbled up Tribune Publishing in 2021.

Alden made a play for Lee Enterprises in 2022 – and may make another.

“Consolidation is killing local news,” said NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss. “We will continue to fight consolidation and we call on the federal government to review news industry megamergers by examining how they negatively impact workers, readers, communities, local reporting and U.S. democracy.”

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Timesland News Guild members ratify contract

The journalists of The Roanoke Times and Laker Weekly have ratified a new contract with Lee Enterprises, the Timesland News Guild announced on Tuesday.

The two-year agreement includes an increase of almost 12% in the minimum salary, across-the-board pay raises of 2% in each year of the two-year agreement, and adjustments to correct pay inequities. It is the second contract for the newsroom union, which that formed in 2020, and covers about 30 people.

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Want to go to the Labor Notes Conference?

The 2022 Labor Notes Conference is a great opportunity to meet and learn from activists and leaders from across the labor movement.

That’s why we’re sponsoring up to 15 leaders and members and covering three night’s hotel stay, registration of $130, and flight or travel up to $600. We’ll review applications and select at random from the top 15 applicants.

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Media Guild of the West weighs in on Calif. bill to fund public interest media

Members of the Media Guild of the West voted overwhelmingly last week to weigh in on a California bill that would fund “public interest” media.

Spurred by the collapse of the traditional business model for local journalism, California Senate Bill 911 would create a board to “fund and promote independent, local, public service news coverage.”

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Staffers at Common Cause are unionizing

Update: April 15, 2022 – Members of Common Cause Staff Union won voluntary recognition of their union.

April 8, 2022 – A supermajority of staffers at Common Cause asked leadership of the organization to recognize the Common Cause Staff Union as part of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035 on Thursday. Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization with 1.5 million members and supporters dedicated to building a strong democracy and holding power accountable.

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