BREAKING: Workers at nonprofit newsroom The Marshall Project are organizing with the NewsGuild of New York

“We are unionizing to preserve the best things about The Marshall Project and to protect our growing staff, our work and our readership for the future.” - Anna Flagg, Senior Data Reporter


NEW YORK – Employees at The Marshall Project, an award-winning, nonprofit news organization focused on the American criminal justice system, announced Thursday that they are forming a union. 

The Marshall Project Guild will represent roughly 50 members — across the business and editorial sides of the rapidly-growing news organization, as part of the NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003. The union has the support of 85% of eligible employees. 

“Working collectively is ingrained in the culture here at The Marshall Project, so a union makes perfect sense for us as a growing staff,” said Katie Park, developer and data journalist. “It’s a way to keep fostering this supportive work environment and make sure everyone’s voice is heard as our organization evolves.”

The Marshall Project is the latest in a wave of nonprofit news organizations that have joined the NewsGuild-CWA, including the Texas Tribune, ProPublica and the Markup. The organization itself is named for Thurgood Marshall, who championed organized labor throughout his career as a lawyer and jurist.

In a mission statement shared with Marshall Project management and released on the union’s social media today, the Marshall Project Guild outlines its goals to enshrine positive working conditions, consistent expectations, fair compensation, and due process for all employees — particularly as the larger journalism industry faces existential threats. The union also plans to ensure that management supports career development for a new, diverse generation of staffers, including those with lived experience with the criminal legal system. 

Both ProPublica Guild and the Markup Union won voluntary recognition from their employers, and it is The Marshall Project Guild’s expectation that they will as well. 

“The Marshall Project now has a union,” said Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York. “It’s up to management to honor their workers and voluntarily recognize this union. We welcome them into the NewsGuild of New York and look forward to working on their first contract.”

On Thursday, members notified Marshall Project management and asked for swift voluntary recognition of their union from Marshall Project President Carroll Bogert, Editor-in-Chief Susan Chira, and members of the masthead and board.   

“We are unionizing to preserve the best things about The Marshall Project, and to protect our growing staff, our work, and our readership for the future,” said Senior Data Reporter Anna Flagg, an employee since 2016.

Launched in 2014, the Marshall Project has expanded in recent years, opening local newsrooms focused on reporting about criminal justice for specific communities. The new union includes members based in Jackson, Mississippi, and Cleveland, Ohio. 

Cleveland has strong traditions as a union city,” said Rachel Dissell, a contributing editor in the city’s newsroom. “For our local news team to carry that tradition, as Marshall Project Guild members, honors that history. We can't stand up for truth and transparency in our city if we can't stand up for ourselves.”

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