TIMELINE: ORGANIZING DIGITAL MEDIA

At a moment of tremendous flux in journalism, unions are trending in digital newsrooms. In June 2015, Gawker’s unionization kicked off a wave of digital media organizing. Ongoing efforts to unionize aim to improve working conditions in a growing sector of the media economy, and workers have won better pay, job security, and benefits. But union drives have also had broader aims: to support editorial freedom in an age of sponsored content, to protect and expand racial and gender diversity, and to give workers a stronger voice in their newsrooms. This timeline highlights some key moments in ongoing efforts to organize digital media.

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Summer 1999

Times Company Digital

UNION: Newspaper Guild of New York
The Newspaper Guild, now The NewsGuild of New York, announces on December 13, 1999 that it won the first labour contract for a “stand-alone on-line news organization” in the US.

AOL UK

UNION: National Union of Journalists
After a two-year campaign, the NUJ wins recognition at AOL UK, the first time the union organized a “standalone new media company.”

May 26, 2005
August 27, 2009

Truthout

UNION: The NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America
Truthout staff join the NewsGuild after an organizing campaign conducted entirely online. First contract: August 2010.