NewsGuild leadership unanimously approves Pittsburgh strike; New editor starts today, faces immediate challenge

For immediate release: Sept. 14, 2020

Contact: Sally Davidow
sdavidow@cwa-union.org
202-368-3324

Citing an unrelenting course of bad faith and surface bargaining, untenable and abusive working conditions unlawfully imposed upon NewsGuild members at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a despicable pattern of hostile treatment of workers by the company’s owners, The NewsGuild-CWA Executive Council unanimously endorsed Guild members’ request to strike. Continue reading “NewsGuild leadership unanimously approves Pittsburgh strike; New editor starts today, faces immediate challenge”

Alden Global Capital, known for plundering newspapers, plans to expand ownership of Tribune Publishing

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sally Davidow, sdavidow@cwa-union.org; 202-368-3324

Move is latest Alden ploy in a larger effort to gut newsrooms across the country, detailed in new, comprehensive report

NewsGuild-CWA Outlines Path for Industry’s Survival


Sept. 11, 2020 – Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund known for pillaging newspapers, plans to expand its ownership stake in Tribune Publishing as soon as Jan. 1 and is shifting its business strategy to focus on digital subscriptions, according to internal company documents obtained by
DFMworkers.org. Alden currently owns a 32 percent stake in the company and its hand-picked directors hold three of Tribune’s seven board seats. One is held by Alden’s patriarch and founder, Randall Smith. Continue reading “Alden Global Capital, known for plundering newspapers, plans to expand ownership of Tribune Publishing”

NewsGuild joins call to MN officials: End arrests, attacks on journalists

June 3, 2020 – The NewsGuild-CWA  joined more than 100 news organizations on June 2 to call on Minnesota officials to “end the series of police arrests and attacks on credentialed and clearly identifiable journalists.”

“Police have arrested, detained, and threatened journalists, and have physically assaulted them with rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, batons, and fists. In every case that we are aware of, there are strong indications that officers knew the journalist was a member of the press,” the organizations wrote, in a letter initiated by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Continue reading “NewsGuild joins call to MN officials: End arrests, attacks on journalists”

CWA Statement on Need to Dismantle the Racism that Plagues Our Communities

Editor’s note: NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss is a member of the CWA Executive Board, which issued the statement below on May 29, 2020.
As we reach a tragic milestone of 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19, we find ourselves confronting the other plague that has been rampaging through our communities since long before the pandemic: Racism. Compounding the devastation of a global pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black communities, Black people in America continue to face threats, brutality, and death for going out jogging. For being poor. For sleeping in their own bed. For watching birds in a park. For being Black.

Continue reading “CWA Statement on Need to Dismantle the Racism that Plagues Our Communities”

NewsGuild to congressional leaders: News coverage must be a priority in the next stimulus package

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020
Contact: Sally Davidow | sdavidow@cwa-union.org | 202-368-3324

‘More Americans will die’ if they cannot access critical information

The NewsGuild-CWA told congressional leaders that public funding to continue news coverage must be a priority in the next stimulus package, writing on Thursday, “More Americans will die” if they cannot access the critical information news outlets provide.

“As the nation shelters indoors, Americans are turning to local, regional and national news in record numbers for life-saving information,” NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Many publications have lowered digital paywalls to provide COVID-19 coverage for free,” Schleuss wrote. “At the same time, the news industry is seeing plummeting ad revenue created by business closures.

“At this moment when Americans need reliable, community-focused coverage, we risk losing it all,” he warned.

Read the full letter here.

The loss of revenue is already devastating local news coverage. News outlets across the country have cut staff significantly and furloughed employees. Some have reduced publication and distribution, or stopped publishing altogether. In New Orleans, which is facing one of the most dire outbreaks of COVID-19 in the nation, the local paper has seen online readership quadruple, even as a decline in revenue led to the furlough of 10 percent of the staff.

“This is the worst possible time to eliminate or weaken crucial sources of local information, given the rapid spread of the virus, the frequently changing directives from governments and the urgent need to update information about sources of assistance,” Schleuss said. 

Funding recipients must remain independent of partisan influence, he said, but, he added, “Failing to protect our local news literally puts lives at risk.” 

To protect the news industry’s ability to continue serving the public, the NewsGuild said Congress should adopt measures that include:

  • A publicly financed fund to support newsrooms and media workers to prevent layoffs furloughs and pay cuts;
  • Requirements that news outlets receiving aid remain independent from partisan influence, demonstrate a need for the assistance, report on how funds have been spent and be prohibited from engaging in mergers and acquisitions resulting in job losses, leveraged buyouts and anti-union activity, and from using funds for executive bonuses, stock buybacks or dividends;
  • A prohibition on job cuts by participating companies;
  • Requirements that recipient companies provide ongoing information on staff diversity;
  • Ensuring that one-quarter of seats on boards of directors be held by non-management employees at recipient publications;
  • A separate mechanism to establish a Small Business Administration program of no-interest loans for the creation of news start-ups, including nonprofits and employee-owned co-ops;
  • Tax deductibility for the cost of subscriptions to any news product;
  • Incentives for local ownership to encourage chains to sell to local owners and community interests;
  • A nationwide federal advertising program to promote public health, participation in the federal census and other topics of national interest.

“Communities across the country are in dire need of assistance to preserve access to life-saving news. By enacting the support package described above, you can protect that access and keep communities connected during this crisis,” Schleuss wrote.

###

The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 24,000 journalists and other media workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The Guild is a sector of the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America.

 

Seeking a voice in the workplace, journalists of South Bend Tribune announce union campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2020

Contact:
Justin Hawkins at 812-797-7345 or sbnewsguild@gmail.com

SOUTH BEND, Indiana  — The award-winning newsroom staff of the South Bend Tribune took a major step Wednesday toward forming a union to give a voice in the workplace to journalists who keep the community informed and who hold local leaders accountable. Continue reading “Seeking a voice in the workplace, journalists of South Bend Tribune announce union campaign”

Southern Poverty Law Center Staff Vote to Unionize

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 17, 2019
Contact: union.splc@gmail.com

The SPLC Union Organizing Committee is excited to announce that its effort to unionize the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has prevailed. On December 16, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board conducted a ballot count. A majority of staff across 11 offices in five states and Washington D.C. voted in favor of representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild. The SPLC Union won the election by an overwhelming majority, 142 to 45. Continue reading “Southern Poverty Law Center Staff Vote to Unionize”

The GateHouse-Gannett Merger: Bad News

Statement by NewsGuild-CWA 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 14, 2019

Washington, D.C. – “The vote by shareholders approving the merger of GateHouse Media and Gannett is bad news.

“The deal is bad for journalists, it’s bad for readers and it’s bad for the future of local journalism,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer. “Local papers will likely vanish, jobs will be slashed, and reporting will suffer.” Continue reading “The GateHouse-Gannett Merger: Bad News”

NewsGuild-CWA: GateHouse-Gannett Deal Threatens Journalism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 8, 2019  

Washington, D.C. – The merger of GateHouse Media and Gannett poses a threat to journalism, an analysis by The NewsGuild-CWA shows.

“This merger will hurt the communities these media organizations serve,” said NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer. “To fund the merger, local papers will likely disappear, jobs will be slashed, and journalism will suffer.” Continue reading “NewsGuild-CWA: GateHouse-Gannett Deal Threatens Journalism”

As GateHouse-Gannett Merger Looms, NewsGuild-CWA Takes Message to GateHouse Readers: Preserve Our Local News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 10, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The NewsGuild-CWA will take its campaign to “Preserve Our Local News” to readers on Thursday when it distributes flyers outside more than 50 GateHouse newspapers across 14 states. Continue reading “As GateHouse-Gannett Merger Looms, NewsGuild-CWA Takes Message to GateHouse Readers: Preserve Our Local News”