New Jersey Media Unites and Unionizes: the Bergen Record, the Daily Record and the NJ Herald have formed a Union


For Immediate Release | February 10, 2021
Press Inquiries: Josh Austin, 484.269.0158


New Jersey Media Unites and Unionizes: the Bergen Record, the Daily Record and the NJ Herald have formed a Union
Editorial employees across three Gannett publications have organized to stand together to fight for local news and address long-standing issues regarding pay, diversity, and job security in their newsrooms.

New York — This morning, the editorial employees of Gannett-owned publications — the Record of Bergen County, the Daily Record of Morris County, and the NJ Herald of Sussex County — announced that they have unionized with the NewsGuild of New York. With nearly 90% of eligible staffers signed on, the Record Guild has requested voluntary recognition from Gannett management.

During the pandemic, while working tirelessly to keep their communities informed, staffers organized to address significant issues impacting their working conditions and the integrity of their publications. The Record Guild joins thousands of media professionals across the country who have organized with The NewsGuild-CWA to preserve and protect their local outlets. In particular, workers at several Gannett-owned publications — including the South Bend Tribune, the Palm Beach Daily News, and the Arizona Republic — have organized to fight for their newsrooms. 

Union members of the Record Guild are pushing for job security and for greater protections against unjust terminations and reduction in force, especially as Gannett and other corporate hedge funds in the media continue to slash newsroom staff and put stakeholder profit over the workers they should protect.

Importantly, as New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation, workers have organized to address the lack of inclusion and diversity in the workplace and, subsequently, the inability to effectively and equitably reflect the communities they serve. The Record Guild is advocating for greater diversity in hiring, coverage, and engagement with their readers and respective communities. 

“The three papers represented by the members of our union have provided local news to northern New Jersey for more than 100 years," said Terrence T. McDonald, reporter with The Record. "In fewer than five years Gannett has turned each into a shadow of their former selves. We organized to bring more power to the writers, photographers and web producers who are dedicated to providing our communities with the journalism they deserve.”

“Journalists are never the story but as we continue to see layoffs, poor healthcare benefits and unequal pay we can no longer stay silent. My colleagues along with the communities we serve, are suffering," said Jessie Gomez, reporter at the Daily Record since 2019. "As a young Latina, I'm invested in North Jersey's diverse communities and after a year of racial reckoning, it's time we hold our leaders to their pledges for diversity and fair treatment of all. That starts with our newsroom.”

“I’m thrilled to welcome the editorial workers of The Record Guild into our union,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “These workers are fighting to safeguard the legacy of local news in northern New Jersey and justly advocating for stronger, more diverse newsrooms that can continue to be a critical lifeline, celebrated storyteller, and most importantly, a necessary watchdog for our communities. We call on Gannett for swift recognition so that we can get to the table to ensure that the collective voice of these workers, and the interest of our readers, are heard, and respected.”

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The Record Guild Mission Statement:

As staff at, the Bergen Record, the Daily Record and the NJ Herald, we have been instrumental in providing communities in North Jersey and beyond with an essential source for local, statewide and regional news. Our readers depend on our journalism to hold the powerful accountable, inform our democracy, and provide a voice to diverse and underrepresented communities. For far too long, corporate owners at Gannett have made decisions that have undermined our ability to fulfill this mission. We have formed a union with the NewsGuild of New York to address the issues that affect all of us and better advocate for ourselves, our professions and the communities we serve.  

Our reporters have continued to provide groundbreaking coverage of COVID-19, providing a vital resource to New Jersey’s communities during a historic pandemic. With increasing workloads and dwindling resources dedicated to local news, Gannett expects the staff will continue to accomplish more with less. All of this leads to a newsroom that is constantly bleeding talent and struggling to effectively report on the news that matters. Our health care benefits are poor and give us few options and our retirement plans have been cut. We deserve higher wages, well-defined minimum levels of pay and a transparent and standardized system for promotion and pay increases. We have unionized to reverse this trend by ensuring that we are fairly compensated for the work that we do, improving health care benefits that we and our families depend on, putting an end to unilateral changes and cuts to our retirement plans, and opposing unreasonable workloads and demands.  

Since 2016, we have seen more than half of our colleagues lose their jobs, with cuts of over 250 people at The Record, the Daily Record and the NJ Herald. Staffers who were unceremoniously laid off include a reporter nearly nine months pregnant and a 30-year-veteran reporter who was forced to take a buyout after missing a single email to opt out of the process. By forming a union, we are taking a stand for respect and dignity, and greater protections against unjust terminations and reductions in force. We are uniting with NewsGuild members around the country in a movement to save local news and ensure a seat at the table when decisions are made that affect our paper and the news coverage we provide. There is no journalism without journalists. 

New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country: nearly half of its 8.9 million residents are people of color, and we have the third-largest population of foreign-born residents in the United States. However, neither our staff nor our stories adequately reflect the communities we serve. Our newsroom has lost an alarming number of reporters and editors of color, something that we have keenly felt as we continue to strive to cover the evolving struggles for racial justice in our society. We have joined the NewsGuild in order to effectively advocate for greater diversity in our hiring, our coverage, and our interaction with the communities we serve. We know that in order to advocate for our readers and our profession, we must advocate for ourselves as well. 

We have formed a union to make sure we can continue to provide quality news coverage for the entire North Jersey region for years to come. We are joining the NewsGuild in a wave of successful union organizing in Gannett newsrooms across the country. By recognizing our union now, and immediately beginning the negotiation process, Gannett can demonstrate that it respects its staff and is committed to ensuring the strongest newsroom possible. 


The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.

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