NewsGuild wrote that 2021 was a record year: More workers joined NewsGuild in 2021 than in any year stretching back decades. What are these unions fighting for — and how effective are they?
Labor unions in local news aren't new — so what's causing this surge in support? From our research, labor unions are demanding a voice, a break and a guaranteed heads-up.
Read more from CISLM Director Erica Perel about this project, and our mission to create a more sustainable future for all journalists.
- Local newsrooms make up about half of the media organizations where workers have unionized in the past five years.
- More than 40% of newsrooms where workers organized a union changed hands in the year before or the year after unionizing.
- Local newsroom unions in right-to-work states have been more successful in gaining representation than local newsroom unions in union-friendly states.
- 108 news unions have successfully been recognized from January 2017 to February 2022
- About 29% of local news unions have successfully negotiated a contract since forming in the past five years.
- Unionization provides a great sense of community for journalists as well as small guaranteed raises and better HR protections, but it can be challenging to negotiate a contract and middle management is often left unprotected.
On May 15, the staff of Wilmington-based WHQR followed the lead of colleagues at WFAE to become the second NPR member station in North Carolina to express interest in forming a union.
Our vision is this: To help build a more equitable and sustainable future for local news, the journalists who make it and the communities that need it.
How often are unionized local news journalists seeing wins? CISLM looked at unionization in the local news field from a solutions-style lens to investigate the frequency and type of successes and limitations. (Photo by Scott Yates)
The Charlotte Observer, the largest newspaper by circulation in North Carolina, unionized in late February, with voluntary recognition from leadership coming in less than a week later.