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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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.
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.”
UNION: The NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America
Truthout staff join the NewsGuild after an organizing campaign conducted entirely online. First contract: August 2010.
80 full- and part-time editorial workers of New York Media secure union representation after a card check (NewsGuild of New York-CWA). Staff had requested recognition in December 2018 and negotiated with management on the scope of the bargaining unit. New York Media was acquired by Vox Media in September 2019.