American Rescue Plan includes important health care provisions

The recently-enacted American Rescue Plan includes several elements of special interest to workers and their unions, NewsGuild Executive Vice President Marian Needham reports.

One little noticed benefit is a provision that grants a 100% subsidy for six months of health care premiums for COBRA-eligible people who lose their jobs or eligibility for employer coverage for the period from April 1 to Sept. 30, 2021.

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Connecticut legislature hears testimony on the value of the Hartford Courant

A committee of the Connecticut state legislature heard compelling testimony Thursday about the value of The Hartford Courant to the local community and the threat that Alden Global Capital poses to it.

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Congress addresses the local news crisis

In a hearing on saving “the free and diverse press,” NewsGuild president urges lawmakers to protect local news and jobs

Summing up the nation’s local news crisis as a combination of unfair siphoning of advertising revenue by online platforms and “predatory financial actors” who strip newsrooms of jobs and resources, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss testified Friday at a congressional hearing to address the nation’s local news crisis.

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NewsGuild President tells lawmakers: ‘Local news is facing an extinction-level threat’

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss told a House subcommittee on Friday that local news is facing “an extinction-level” threat that jeopardizes American democracy. His oral statement is below:

“Chairman Cicilline, Ranking Member Buck, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for having me today.

“My name’s Jon Schleuss and I’m president of The NewsGuild-CWA and I’m here to tell you about the extinction-level event workers are facing in the news industry.

“We’re the largest union of journalists in the United States, with thousands of news workers among our membership — at large publications like the Washington Post and New York Times and small ones like the Billings Gazette in Montana News and the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union. We’re also part of the Communications Workers of America.

“I grew up in rural south Arkansas and remember as a kid that my grandmother got two newspapers every day. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the morning and the Camden News in the afternoon.

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NewsGuild President Schleuss to tell lawmakers: ‘The crisis in local news is a crisis of democracy.’

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss will tell a House subcommittee on Friday that local news is facing “an extinction-level” threat that jeopardizes American democracy. 

In his planned testimony, he will urge the committee to adopt legislation to stop the unprecedented, dangerous decline.

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Unions condemn Facebook bullying, call for bolder steps to tackle news deserts

Journalists and media unions in Australia, the US, Canada and the UK have issued the following joint call for governments to take “bolder steps” to protect jobs and save journalism.

Journalism is a public good. Journalism is essential for democracy.

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Relief bill could save thousands of local news jobs

Updated Dec. 28, 2020 – After six days of uncertainty, President Donald J. Trump signed the COVID relief bill on Dec. 27, marking an important victory for journalists, readers, the news industry generally, and millions of others.

The relief bill in front of Congress includes a NewsGuild-supported provision that will expand Paycheck Protection Program loans to local newsrooms across the country.

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