The Digital Editorial Employees of People Magazine's Mission Statement


Since its founding in 1974, People has been the leading magazine of celebrity, lifestyle and human interest journalism in America. It has carved out a unique position in the media landscape, taking readers inside the lives of extraordinary people doing ordinary things and ordinary people doing extraordinary things through unparalleled access to cultural icons and everyday heroes. We, the digital editorial staffers, are proud to work at such a prestigious publication and want to ensure its continued success while valuing the contributions of all employees for years to come.

As a brand, the print and digital staff have worked seamlessly to create a relationship with readers as a trusted news source, with our website delivering breaking news updates and our magazine providing in-depth stories on the same topics. All editorial employees contribute to both platforms — the print-digital divide is nonexistent. But as it stands, only People print editorial members are protected by a union contract with the NewsGuild of New York. Digital staffers deserve the same protections and benefits, so to that end, we have decided to join our teammates at People, who support our effort, and our peers at other vital outlets like The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and more.

The coronavirus pandemic has added unprecedented turbulence to an already turbulent industry. In light of the financial actions the company announced on April 20, it is more important now than ever that we possess the same rights as our print colleagues. Without union protection, we are placed in a more vulnerable position with no avenues to advocate for ourselves. We are all invested in the positions we hold and the stories that we tell. Despite these trying times, our tireless efforts have continued to generate impressive digital traffic. Under these extraordinary circumstances, job security for digital employees is crucial to ensure both staff morale and brand growth.

We want a seat at the table to work with management to secure a fairer workplace. Salaries vary without explanation between people who hold the same position, and many of us are working beyond the requirements of our job description with no clear system for tying compensation to performance. Constant re-strategizing has placed more work, pressure and expectations upon us, with no additional compensation. With few opportunities for career development, it’s problematic that employees know their best chance to secure a raise or a promotion is to get a job offer elsewhere. 

We are confident that this action is a necessary step to protect our future. Currently, 96% of eligible PEOPLE digital staff have signed union authorization cards and have requested voluntary recognition of their union. We are asking Meredith Corporation to recognize the digital and print staffers as one collective union, and we look forward to joining the amicable collective-bargaining process.

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