The NewsGuild of New York released the following statement from President Susan DeCarava in response to an announcement from BuzzFeed News that it will be shutting down its operations:
“We’re deeply dismayed by the announced closing of this groundbreaking digital newsroom. Dozens of journalists represented by The NewsGuild of New York work at BuzzFeed News, and we are concerned both about their future and the broader impact of this announcement on the media industry at large.
The collective bargaining contract that the BuzzFeed News Union won in 2021 includes a number of protections to ensure workers aren’t left with nothing in case of sudden layoffs. We expect that BuzzFeed will honor those commitments now, and we are prepared to enforce the terms of that contract if they don’t.
Today’s news demonstrates why it’s so important for media workers to unionize. Corporate bottom lines privilege profitability all the time. As a union, our collective bottom line is to the workers who made BuzzFeed News the innovative news organization it is, and to the communities and public interest that the newsroom and our members serve. There are real life consequences when management favors short-term returns over long-term investments. That’s why we fight hard for contracts that provide protections and support for workers unfairly left holding the bag from a company’s questionable decisions.”
In February of 2019, 61 reporters at BuzzFeed News formed the Buzzfeed News Union. In 2022, reporters voted unanimously to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement with the company, a three-year contract that included just cause and layoff provisions, strong severance and benefit packages.