By Martha Waggoner, NewsGuild International Chairperson
Oct. 4, 2019 – The NewsGuild-CWA wants to know what you think.
To find out, the union will survey members next year on several issues, including communications, resource allocation and their own level of engagement with the union. The online surveys should begin early next year.
TNG President Bernie Lunzer said the union hasn’t surveyed members in many years. The political attacks on journalists and a free press are one reason that the time is right to conduct one now, he said.
“A broad Guild survey will help us to understand those issues most important to members and also how aggressively they are willing to pursue them,” Lunzer said. “We’re talking about fighting for journalism and our industry. We need to know their level of comfort. And the survey can help us rebuild unity in the Guild after a long political season.”
TNG’s Executive Council approved the survey at its meeting in September after hearing details from Amy Masciola, a campaign consultant. Masciola said the survey will assess several areas, including:
- Members’ opinions about their union, including how they feel about communications, priority campaigns or projects, and resource allocation.
- Effects of cost-cutting and consolidation within the industry on members, including gathering their personal stories of how cuts have affected them.
- Members’ current level of engagement with their union and their willingness to engage or increase engagement.
The online survey will be disseminated through email and social media. TNG asked vice presidents to find at least one person from each local in their local to work as a coordinator for the survey.
“The value of the survey results will be directly proportional to the number of people who participate, which makes it really important for locals to provide members’ email addresses so they can receive the survey,” said Marian Needham, TNG’s executive vice president.
NABET-CWA, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, is considering whether to join the survey. If it does, the cost will be $25,000 for both unions, with money coming from a Strategic Industry Fund.