Broadcast Union News is a clearing center for information of interest to people working in television, film, print/electronic media, and theater. A chance for AEA, AFTRA, IATSE, IBEW, CWA-NABET, DGA, SAG, Newspaper Guild, WGA, and non-represented entertainment industry workers to share information with an eye towards improving wages, benefits, and working conditions for all.
The New York Times and its journalist union, the Newspaper Guild of New York, have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract.
video below, produced by the Guild, features three New York Times
Pulitzer Prize winners talking about how great the Times is--and,
implicitly, how horrible it will be for everyone if management wins.
of the journalists, Kevin Sack, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, makes
a not-so-vague reference to greener pastures at the Huffington Post, et
al., noting that some online publications are now rich enough that they
can pay great journalists more than they make at the Times.he other journalists, Dan Barry and Amy Harmon, talk about the joy of having pensions and getting paid well and working at the company that is the gold standard for journalism.
Not surprisingly, however, the video does not acknowledge the reality of the New York Times's situation, which is that the business is shrinking.
Most Americans would love to get paid more and have excellent pensions and benefits.
But most Americans don't have those things.
while most Americans can certainly relate to the disgust at egregious
compensation awarded to mediocre CEOs, they also likely won't have much
sympathy for the plight of extremely well-educated and talented
journalists who, as the video notes, could get paid more to work
UPDATE: After publishing
this post, I got a note from Kevin Sack saying that he and his
colleagues had not in any way threatened to leave, as my original
headline suggested. (I heard Kevin's words as a veiled threat--or at
least the frank "statement of economic reality" that he refers to
below--but I've toned the headline down accordingly):
you know, the assertion in your item about our participation in the
Guild video is an absurd distortion of both our actual words and our
intent. None of us is threatening to quit, to join the Huffington Post
or any other outlet, and none of us said as much in the video. Indeed,
we participated in the video precisely because we love our jobs, and
the Times, and hope to preserve its high quality. Our point was that
others among us have left, for financially greener pastures now made
available by an increasingly competitive digital marketplace, and that
the paper can expect this trend to accelerate if compensation is
effectively reduced through a pension freeze. This was not a
personalized threat, only a generalized statement of economic reality.
In the end, the video expresses our devotion to the Times and our deep
desire -- even expectation -- that the Times will treat us fairly in
these contract negotiations. Please feel free to correct the
misimpression you have left.