From The Nation | Media Unions Are Challenging the Use of NDAs


The following story originally appeared in the Nation: 

On May 19, members of the Daily Beast union set a new standard for the media industry by ratifying a contract that eliminates the use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) in cases of workplace harassment. The provision is the first of its kind to be formally included in a collective bargaining agreement. This comes after years of grassroots organizing by the #MeToo movement, which was catalyzed by media reports breaking a culture of silence surrounding sexual harassment and assault against women.

In mid-June, members of the New Yorker union announced the inclusion of a similar provision, banning NDAs in cases of both harassment and discrimination, in a tentative agreement on its first union contract after years of tense negotiations with the magazine’s parent company, Condé Nast. According to members of the NewsGuild, the nation’s largest union of communications employees, this provision has been years in the making and is well on its way to becoming a new standard of employment across the media industry.

While the use of NDAs is not uncommon, organizers argue that they inhibit both workplace safety and journalistic practice. “It gets in the way of reporting on the truth and holding powerful people accountable,” says the Daily Beast union’s Unit Chair Kate Briquelet, a senior reporter who has written extensively on Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, Donald Trump, Alan Dershowitz, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, and more. “The changes that the union is creating affect everybody, and make it a better newsroom for all of us, regardless of whether you’re a union member,” Briquelet added...


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