Newsletter: A crazy couple of weeks in Guild land!

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The last two weeks have been absolutely bonkers, so let’s just dive right in!

On August 3, workers at the Dallas Morning News ran an informational picket in 100+ degree weather. They had three shifts and held signs saying, “I cover a community I can’t afford to live in” and “@dallasnews Pay your employees living wages” and “More than praise, journalists need a raise!”

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Status quo

What is “status quo” and how can it protect you from layoffs?

Last week Gannett, the largest local news publishers, provided us with a prime example of an important legal protection that union members have – maintenance of status quo regarding terms and conditions of employment. 

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Gannett journalists walkout during lunch on August 11, 2022

Hundreds of Gannett journalists walk out over layoff threat

Hundreds of workers employed by Gannett-owned newsrooms are taking a coordinated lunch break today in response to a string of emails from upper management last week that threatened layoffs due to the company’s second quarter financials. According to Mike Reed, Chairman and CEO, Gannett must “responsibly and proactively [align] resources to our highest strategic priorities and [lower] costs to be in line with revenues.” 

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Graphic showing that Gannett CEO Mike Reed made more than 7.7 million in 2021 compared with $48,000 made by the median employee.

Gannett can’t be trusted to invest in journalists as it begs for special powers

Today Gannett announced that it is soon planning to cut jobs after CEO Mike Reed said the company was “facing strong headwinds” after reporting their second quarter financials. 

“Gannett has clearly shown it cannot be trusted to invest in journalists or its newsrooms and is prioritizing shareholders and executives over journalism,” said NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss. 

“As a journalist representing thousands of other journalists in North America, we scrutinize and hold companies accountable for their behavior,” he said. “Gannett’s SEC filings and actions against America’s journalists show it is incapable of being trusted.”

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Journalists posing during a full day strike on August 4, 2022.

Reuters journalists walk off the job, demand better pay

Nearly 300 journalists at Reuters, the global news agency, walked off the job today for 24 hours in protest of management’s slow-walking contract renewal negotiations, the first major labor action by journalists at the company in more than 30 years. Reuters journalists, photographers, videographers, copy editors, producers and technicians are represented by The NewsGuild of New York. 

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Guild and others challenge Standard General’s attempt to takeover local news broadcaster and cut jobs

The NewsGuild-CWA, NABET-CWA, the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry and Common Cause again challenged Standard General’s continuing efforts to take over local news broadcaster TEGNA in a Monday filing before the Federal Communications Commission. 

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Ad from Home News Tribune with text, 'One-third of newspapers are expected to be gone by 2025. Help us make sure this isn't one of them.'

Newsletter: Our companies are lobbying for billions. Journalists deserve a piece.

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Did you see the ads and editorials starting last week calling for the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act? The News Media Alliance, which lobbies for news publishers, launched a blitz to pass the bill, which would give news companies collective bargaining rights to negotiate fees from Google and Facebook. 

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The White House

NewsGuild to Biden: Stand with journalists and reject local news takeover

The Biden administration has a clear choice: It can stand with journalists and the American people or it can stand with anonymous foreign investors and Wall Street mega-funds, The NewsGuild told the president in a July 25 letter.

The Department of Justice and agencies that review foreign investments should reject the proposed takeover of TEGNA, a major local broadcaster, by a hedge fund and its private equity financiers, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss wrote.

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