The reporters, photographers and producers of DelawareOnline/The News Journal announced March 2 they officially began the process of forming the Delaware News Guild.
“Nearly 70% of newsroom staff filed union authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board calling for a vote to establish a union,” according to a press release issued by the guild. “We are uniting to preserve the quality of our coverage and fight for the future of our newsroom.
“The News Journal, like many other newspapers, has endured countless rounds of layoffs and cuts,” continued the release. “This, combined with growing health care costs, stagnant salaries and constant staff turnover makes it difficult to maintain the high caliber of journalism that we strive for — and that Delawareans deserve.”
“The merger of Gannett and Gatehouse Media has made our industry even more uncertain,” continued the release. “Both companies have histories of mismanaging resources to the detriment of journalism. We are unionizing in an effort to seek structural change in an industry where corporate decision makers continue to slash newsrooms across the country.”
“We want a say in the corporate decisions made about our staff and how we do our jobs,” continued the release. “We deserve to have a seat at the table.”
“As local journalists, we live in the communities we cover,” continued the release. “We are there for the worst moments, and for the celebrations. Our reporters and photographers are there, under the lights at a Friday night football game. We are in Legislative Hall, city council chambers and school board meetings late into the night.”
“We don’t want this to change,” continued the release. “We are passionate about the work we do. But as new Gannett continues to make cuts across the company, our readers deserve a news outlet that remains committed to The News Journal’s high standards of journalistic integrity and quality.”
“We are asking Gannett to voluntarily recognize the Delaware News Guild, with the hopes of creating a productive and long-lasting relationship,” continued the release. “If not, we have filed with the National Labor Relations Board to schedule a vote. Our guild will continue to fight for the future of our newsroom and local journalism.”
For more, visit delawarenewsguild.org.