Coronavirus Update 5: Stimulus Solidarity for Media Workers
Today, our parent union, The NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America (TNG-CWA) is calling on Congress to include media workers in upcoming coronavirus stimulus packages. It is a bold initiative our Local’s Executive Committee is proud to support:
"We are witnessing the profound effect that the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying public health and economic crisis is having on media workers across the country. Understanding that media companies of every size and publications in every language are likely to seek stimulus funds, we, the Executive Committee of The NewsGuild of New York, support the NewsGuild International’s efforts to ensure that stimulus funds are used responsibly to support media workers, strengthen the news industry and safeguard trusted sources of information for communities nationwide. The NewsGuild of New York is committed to exploring every possible avenue to support all media workers in these unprecedented times."
This is an unprecedented fight to save our industry. Crisis is not new to media professionals. In fact, many of us are experts in crisis. But now Guild members are becoming part of the story. All across the country, thousands of us are facing draconian layoffs and workplace closures, often in newsrooms already weakened by tenuous funding models and destabilized by corporate hedge funds that extract resources from local news outlets and hurt our communities. Even media companies struggling to do the right thing in this pandemic are caught in a financial bind.
TNG-CWA’s campaign is straightforward, but this moment does thrust our union into uncharted territory. As a union of media professionals, we know this is a fine line for many of you concerned with maintaining your objectivity. We are fully cognizant of the need for journalists to uphold their professional ethics regarding political action. To address this concern, TNG will be relying on the legislative arm of CWA, as well as several community groups, to help make this campaign effective.
The determination and energy of Guild members across the country to stand up for one another in this devastating moment is inspiring. In spite of social distancing, we are not only maintaining our ties to one another, but expanding them so that we are big enough in spirit and strong enough in solidarity to continue to do the work on which so many rely.
We know that you may have thoughts about the stimulus proposal, and you might also have questions about how our Local, the NewsGuild of New York, is fighting to stave off permanent staff reductions. Please join me and members of the Executive Committee on April 7 at 7 p.m. for a virtual town hall meeting to discuss this national campaign, how it affects our Local, and how you can get involved. We intend to invite a few guest speakers from newsrooms facing corona-related hardships so we can learn more about the critical need for this stimulus. Dial-in details will be sent out to Guild members early next week.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how the gift of the Guild, the gift of standing together, is that collective action and unity gives us the space to see a bigger picture and take steps to protect our industry, our profession, our colleagues, and ourselves. I’m so proud to be a Guild member during this moment and to take those steps with you.
As always, I want to hear directly from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your ideas and questions.
President | The NewsGuild of New York
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