Feb 7, 2017

Trump pushing journalists to unionize

Evan Vucci / AP

Three unions for journalists say Trump's election has sparked increased interest and reps from two newsrooms that recently unionized say Trump helped pushed the process along.

Why it matters:

Unionizing could protect journalists from employers if, for example, a news organization came under pressure from the Trump administration to fire a journalist. Interest in union protections can be seen as a response to Trump's critiques of the press and war on "fake news."

Recently unionized newsrooms:

  • MTV's digital staff announced Friday that it voted to unionize, and referenced the current political and news climate as a reason. "Under the new Trump administration, we are acutely aware of how necessary our constitutional rights are, and how much we need legal protection. - MTV said in a statement.
  • The Huffington Post announced last week that it ratified its union contract, citing job security as a reason for guild representation. A union representative said the current political climate helped speed up the ratification process.

Response from Unions:

  • NewsGuild of New York, which represents groups like The New York Times and Time Inc., said several workplaces have already expressed interest in organizing.
  • Washington-Baltimore News Guild, which represents groups like The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, said demands for union protection have "absolutely increased" since the new Administration came to power.
  • Writers Guild of America East, which represents Gizmodo, CBS and Fusion said guild interest has "unequivocally" increased.

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