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News Media Ignore AP Workers Protests

A press release from the News Media Guild and Communications Workers of America, via Business Wire:

AP Workers to Demonstrate for Quality Journalism

March 10, 2011

(BUSINESS WIRE)–News Media Guild – Communications Workers of America:

WHAT: Associated Press journalists will rally outside the Newseum this Saturday to support quality journalism in contract talks with AP. The company is demanding deep cuts in income, benefits and retirement security, despite its positive financial outlook.

While we would all like to see "quality journalism" from the Associated Press, we get the impression that this is more about quantity (of dollars) than quality.

WHERE: Outside the Newseum, 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington.

WHEN: Saturday, March 12, from 11 a.m. till noon.

Wow! One whole hour! This must really be important to these reporters.

WHY: AP’s 1,250 journalists and technicians have been trying to negotiate a new contract with the AP since October, but the company continues to insist on deep cuts. AP staffers will encourage the public to enter the Newseum and see for themselves how vital the work of AP is to the nation and the world, and to support workers fighting for a fair contract.

AP enjoyed several years of strong growth before the recession and its CEO, former USA Today executive Tom Curley, says AP’s finances are improving again. Unlike newspapers and TV stations hurt by loss of advertisers to the Internet, AP has a wide range of income sources, including Internet customers such as Google and Yahoo, corporations, government agencies, specialty publications and foreign news outlets. Income from many of those sources is growing steadily.

Does the AP have a balanced budget amendment in its constitution? And if, as these ‘reporters’ claim, AP’s income is up – why aren’t they giving more money to their workers?

Isn’t that what the AP claims companies as well as the government must do? The workers must be paid as much as possible at all times.

AP workers already have made many concessions to reduce costs, and haven’t had a wage increase in two years. Some ten percent of the staff was laid off. Yet AP insists on steep health care increases and a pension freeze, with minimal wage increases. The combined effect would immediately cut income for most of the staff and dramatically reduce retirement income.

Tom Curley and the rest of the executives at the AP sound even meaner than Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin. So where is the outrage?

Staff has been protesting these demands since October, signing petitions, withholding their names from their work, withholding use of their personal cars and cell phones for assignments and sending direct appeals to Curley. More than 8,000 people around the world have already signed the petition on www.change.org. AP hasn’t budged, even though its negotiators say AP can afford to give us a fair deal, it just doesn’t want to do so.

This has been going on since October? Why hasn’t there been any coverage of this in the news media – by the very reporters who are going to be affected?

This rally is an unprecedented step by our union, the News Media Guild. AP staff at dozens of other bureaus around the U.S. will be picketing outside AP offices next week staff again will remove their names from their work all next week.

VISUALS: Dozens of workers, with their children and other family members, will be protesting in Guild red, joined by the Guild’s president, Tony Winton. We’ll also have a large banner reading, “Support Quality Journalism and AP Workers,” and will be distributing flyers and handing out snacks to Newseum visitors.

This sure sounds like a spontaneous demonstration, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, despite the "visuals," there is not one photograph on the news wires from Saturday’s demonstration. And this press release is the only mention of that protest anywhere in the news.

Remember this the next time you read an article from the AP celebrating the glories of unions and their sacred right to bargain collectively. Remember this the next time you hear anyone talk about the freedom of the press in this country.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 13th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “News Media Ignore AP Workers Protests”

  1. untrainable says:

    staff again will remove their names from their work all next week
    This is how they protest? Seems to me that the average AP reporter will be even more comfortable writing what they really think if their own name won’t be on it. Anonimity is a radical leftist’s best friend.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    I don’t know, have we reached the point yet where robots can protest?

    Behind the curtain, the bolts continue to come loose from the apparatchik machine.

    We must fight on.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Is it any wonder why Provda and Tass never reported any real news?
    “Must be wreported to da State, forst commrade”.

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