econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 29 October 2015

Why HuffPo And Other 'New' Media Journalists Are Choosing Unions

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Merja Myllylahti, Auckland University of Technology

Newsroom unions are back. In newly found solidarity, journalists in American digital newsrooms are getting organised. As "new" digital news outlets are turning "old" - or rather maturing and delivering profits, it's not surprising journalists are demanding better pay and working conditions, and greater transparency from their management.

Journalists at the Huffington Post in the US are the latest in talks to unionise, and the company's founder says she is fine with it. Arianna Huffington, who sold her media outlet to AOL in 2011, supports unionisation of the HuffPo workforce. In a statement to CNN Money she said:

"we fully support our newsroom employees' right to discuss unionising and will embrace whatever decision they make on this issue."

Not all the media bosses are as supportive. For example, BuzzFeed's management is less keen to see its workers get organised. Chief executive Jonah Peretti has warned the company's workers to stay out of labour unions, arguing workers are not working "on an assembly line" and therefore don't need the protection provided by unions. Peretti believes unions are not right for such "a flexible, dynamic company" as BuzzFeed.

Al Jazeera America's management has also been less keen to see its workers get organised, and it is contesting the rights of nine of its editors and team leaders to have union representation. However, the rest of the company's news workers have opted to join NewsGuild of New York. Al Jazeera America's journalists say they

"deserve an environment that exemplifies the best practices of a modern, humane workplace and values diversity, equality and fairness".

HuffPo is expected to follow the example set by AJAM, Gawker, The Guardian America, Salon and Vice. According to The Washington Post, The Newspaper Guild has 26,000 members in the US and The Communications Workers of America has 600,000 members.

The committee organising The HuffPo workers has pencilled a list of reasons to join The Newspaper Guild, and these include pay, job responsibilities, and editorial decisions. The committee says the "dramatic changes to employees' workload and responsibilities, made without employee input, hinder our ability to produce our best work".

New digital news outlets have produced "almost 5,000 full-time jobs," according to the State of the News Media 2014 report. It says as these media outlets are innovating, they're "hiring people with skills and voices 'being nurtured online'". This means younger, digitally native news workers.

Business model based on exploitation

When the Huffington Post launched in Australia in partnership with Fairfax in August, it was immediately thrown into controversy for assembling

"a team of bloggers, who somewhat controversially agree to write unpaid in return for exposure to the site's vast global audience".

Australian media commentator Dee Madigan, asked to write for the site for free, said:

"if you don't value your work and you don't say no, you will get exploited. They just seem to think you can scribble out words and it doesn't take time."

HuffPo has "more than 100,000 bloggers around the world who contribute to the site for free". Joining unions may aid workers in digital newsrooms, but what about these free contributors?

HuffPo's business model is based on free labour, or rather exploitation, as author Christian Fuchs puts it. Fuchs argues media companies such as HuffPo and Facebook exploit their users which produce free content and data for their sites. However, they do so on a voluntary basis. Fuchs call these content providers "prosumers" who are exploited for profit, with their content commodified by being sold to third parties such as advertisers.

Editorial freedom

Journalists are also joining unions as they feel their editorial independence is compromised. As the HuffPo organising committee put it, journalists want a formal commitment from their management for editorial freedom, so that "institutions can't use their influence to dictate our coverage or squash stories that are unflattering".

Gawker is another media outlet where issues of editorial freedom have caused staff problems, with two editors resigning after the company's management decided to pull a controversial story from its website.

In their resignation letter, the editors said "non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it," and therefore editorial independence was compromised. The episode turned "Gawker's claim to be the world's largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke," they said.

The ConversationMerja Myllylahti, Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Joan Robinson’s Critique of Marginal Utility Theory
The Truth About Trade Agreements - and Why We Need Them
News Blog
Heavy Metal And Hard Rock Albums That Went Certified Diamond Status
Down The Drain: Wastewater With The Most Cocaine
Apple's App Store Set For 5 Million Apps By 2020
How Can The UK Government Meet Its Legal Air Pollution Targets?
Most Gun Deaths In The United States Have A Tragic Motive
What We Read Today 08 December 2016
Five Mysterious Space Diseases That Could Kill Astronauts Before They Get To Mars
03 December 2016 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Insignificantly Worsens
November 2016 CBO Monthly Budget Review: Down by 3 Percent in the First Two Months of Fiscal Year 2017
Putting Grassroots Terrorism In The Proper Perspective
Crude Oil Prices: "Random"? Hardly. The More Emotional The Market, The More Predictable It Is.
Infographic Of The Day: Job-Hopping
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Firms, Russia's Big Oil Deal, Trump Will Stay In Business, Trump Menaces Drug Cos, Banks Rig Silver, Italy's 360B NPL, Iraq Has Oil Cut Problem, China Trade Improves And More
Investing Blog
Are Your Trade Entries Patient Enough?
Investing.com Technical Summary 08 December 2016
Opinion Blog
Looking At Everything: Trump's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
The Global Financial Mess Is Due To Political Failure
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
08Dec2016 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Higher, But Not Without Pause For Indicators That Spell CAUTION In Capital Letters
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved