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.

Download timeline as printable PDF

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.


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


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.

February 1, 2019