Journalists at the Reporter-Herald in Loveland, CO, took action to make their voices heard and to protect their community’s access to news on Dec. 2, announcing that they are unionizing as the Heart of NoCo News Guild.
“With more than a century of history in Loveland, and as the city’s only daily newspaper, the Reporter-Herald plays a vital civic role, and each one of us is grateful for the opportunities that our jobs afford us to serve our community,” they wrote.
But over the past several years, the newsroom has faced deep and demoralizing cuts, they said. Where once there were eight reporters, two newsroom assistants and five full-time editors, there are now just three reporters and two editors. In addition, the sports desk and the photo department were both cut from three people to one. Meanwhile, Loveland has grown to a city of roughly 80,000, gaining 13,000 new residents over the last decade.
“Our industry has contracted in recent years, but we believe these cuts also have to do with management decisions that we will only be able to influence if we band together and speak up collectively,” union organizers wrote.
“We believe in a newsroom where employees feel valued, and experience and professional accomplishments are rewarded,” they said. “We believe reporters should be paid enough to support their families in the community they cover. We believe in fostering an industry that attracts and retains talented reporters.”
Organizers asked the publication’s owner, MediaNews Group, which is owned by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, to respect the wishes of a majority of the newsroom and voluntarily recognize the Denver Newspaper Guild CWA Local 37074 as their bargaining representative.
If they do, the Loveland journalists will join those at the Denver Post, Pueblo Chieftain and two Wyoming papers that already belong to the local.
“We are so, so excited for this next chapter in our paper’s legacy, and we welcome the opportunity to sit down with our owners and talk about creating a more equitable workplace,” organizers said.
Follow the Heart of NoCo News Guild on Twitter @NoCoNewsGuild.