A Day of Action by Newspaper Guild — More of a farce than show of force.
Like Ford workers, journalists have become a bottom-line problem, which is quite a comedown from being members of “The Fourth Estate,” lamented a former newspaper journalist.
Yesterday, journalists and others in the newspaper industry held a so-called “Day of Action.” In frigid Minneapolis/St. Paul, the event was coordinated by the merged union I’ve wrote about earlier, the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America.
St. Paul Pioneer Press had 21 journalists quit the paper last week after accepting “chump change” buyouts from the paper’s new owner, MediaNews Group of Denver.
A rally Monday outside the Pioneer Press called attention to the danger that newspaper cuts are creating for democracy.
Both locally and nationally, journalism jobs are disappearing and newsroom staffs shrinking. That much has been widely reported.
Left unanswered is how downsizing of the news media, the so-called Fourth Estate of politics, will affect public life. Twin Cities media workers of all kinds raised precisely that point Dec. 11, when they gathered outside the Pioneer Press building downtown St. Paul. And we have a photo of a group of some 20 concerned newspaper employees hoding black balloons.
“Who is going to ask the questions if the newsroom is gutted, if we aren’t here?” asked Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres, one of a handful of speakers to address the crowd lined up along the sidewalk in front of the newspaper’s headquarters.
Why do these dozen or so journalists think their jobs are more important than the thousands of computer and auto workers who have been right sized?
Dayton TNG-CWA members, community supporters and retirees will rally at 12:15 outside the Dayton Daily News offices.
The Knoxville Newspaper Guild is spearheading a gathering of area journalists at noon, Dec. 11, on Market Square, the center of downtown Knoxville. TNGers will distribute fliers, carry signs and spread the message to the public to “say no to cutting the jobs of journalists!”
Members of TNG-CWA Local 38218 in York, Pa., will hold a “Festivus” Celebration on Stand Up for Journalism Day, Monday, Dec. 11. The “holiday” was famous by the “Seinfeld” sitcom and includes a “airing of grievances” that union members say is very appropriate at the York newspapers since workers have been bargaining for a new contract since July 2005.
Members will celebrate outside the York Daily Record.
Members of TNG-CWA Local 32035 at the Catholic News Service will stand for one minute of silence at 11 a.m.