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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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: Not just a wave; it’s a movement

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This week sort of exploded with two major press freedom issues around the world.

A major investigation by Washington Post journalists and many others exposed an operation by a private spyware company that has been hacking into the phones of journalists around the world. Activists, politicians and journalists were found on a list of more than 50,000 targeted phone numbers. It’s an expansion of a disturbing trend by authoritarian regimes that are suppressing dissent by targeting journalists. I was proud to bring our union back into the International Federation of Journalists last year. The group of large journalism unions quickly condemned the targeting of journalists. We stand with them and journalists around the world condemning the spying and suppression of free speech.

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Newsletter: They didn’t take bad news lying down

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Happy Wednesday! Members of The Appeal Union certainly didn’t take the announcement that management was closing their beloved publication due to financial concerns lying down.

They swung into action, secured a generous severance package for themselves and their coworkers, and negotiated with management to allow them to relaunch The Appeal as a worker-led news outlet.

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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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Newsletter: The story you’ve always dreamed of telling

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Today is World Press Freedom Day, and this year’s theme, “Information as a Public Good,” couldn’t be more appropriate. It reflects the severity of the crisis facing journalism and the need to reshape our industry. We cannot let hedge funds and profit-hungry chains run journalism into the ground. News and information are essential to empowering the people to participate in civic life.

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