Texas Tribune staffers pose for a photo and gather together on the day they launched their union January 24, 2024
Texas Tribune staffers celebrate forming their union on January 24

Texas Tribune employees announce union organizing campaign

AUSTIN — Employees of the award-winning nonprofit newsroom The Texas Tribune announced their intent to unionize on Wednesday as the Texas Tribune Guild, part of the Media Guild of the West and The NewsGuild-CWA.

Organizers petitioned for voluntary recognition from the CEO, editor-in-chief and the board of The Texas Tribune.

Members of the union organizing committee presented management with the request for voluntary recognition after 90% of eligible staffers signed union authorization cards signaling their desire to be represented by the Texas Tribune Guild.

The Texas Tribune Guild is a wall-to-wall union that will represent approximately 50 eligible staff members, including reporters, photographers, designers, engineers, accountants, editors, along with members of the development, product and revenue teams.  

In a mission statement distributed Wednesday throughout the newsroom and presented to management, organizers wrote: “We want to preserve the collaborative and open culture of our newsroom. We want to continue to be a workplace where all employees can build and sustain their professional careers. We want transparent, equitable and sustainable pay. We want to cement many current business practices that make The Tribune a positive place to work, including benefits, flexible working policies and investment in professional development.”

Reese Oxner, a product manager for the Tribune, said he wants the Tribune to have a union because he hopes that it can be a place where “folks can build long careers and serve the people of Texas with the very best journalism we can produce.”

“Unions help journalists. We’ve seen examples of that all over the country, especially here in Texas.  I’m supporting the Texas Tribune Guild because I want to ensure this organization continues to be an excellent place to work,” he said. “The Texas Tribune emerged as a leader when it was founded in 2009. I hope the organization can continue to demonstrate its leadership by voluntarily recognizing our union.”

John Jordan, deputy director of photography for the Tribune, said the reason he supports a union is because he believes it can help the Tribune’s “pursuit of transparency and accountability from those who have so much power over all our lives.”

“As a nonprofit, our shareholders are the people of Texas. I believe we can best serve our shareholders and ensure the vital work we do continues by requiring of ourselves the same transparency and accountability we demand of others,” he said. “I believe the best way we can preserve and grow in our mission is to nurture that culture of openness top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top, and that’s why I’m proud to join my coworkers in the Texas Tribune Guild.”

Irma Fernandez, a development officer at the Tribune, said she is happy the guild is representing all employees.

“We should all be committed to keeping The Texas Tribune at the forefront of nonprofit journalism,” she said. “Historically, there is an unspoken wall that exists between the revenue side of the Tribune and our newsroom. Today I’m proud to stand in solidarity with the union, demonstrating that we have representatives from every corner of our organization who are united together on this unionization effort.”

Matthew Choi, the Tribune’s Washington correspondent, said he is excited to work to continue making the Tribune a great place to work.

“I’m eager to collaborate with management to make sure the Tribune remains a place where we can produce our best work,” he said. “Every member of the team deserves a seat at the table.”


The Texas Tribune was founded in 2009 as a nonpartisan nonprofit news organization, covering politics and public policy. Its mission is to inform — and engage with Texans — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.