Nonprofit Journalists Vote to Unionize

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July 20, 2011; Source: Poynter.org | Journalists at the Bay Citizen, a nonprofit news site started in 2010, have voted to unionize through the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America – a first of its kind decision.

Prior to filing cards with the National Labor Relations Board the award winning editorial staff wrote the following in a letter to TBC: “We believe The Bay Citizen, as one of the pioneering exponents of new civic journalism, should also be a leading example in the area of workplace democracy.” There were 14 votes cast but two were challenged and remain unopened and the vote was 7 – 5.

Bernie Lunzer, International President of the Newspaper Guild in Washington termed the move an historic advance. “The future of quality journalism depends on reporters and editors shaping the vision of innovative new media organizations. By voting to be represented by the Guild, employees at The Bay Citizen have given themselves this voice.

This will certainly be an interesting situation on which to keep an eye.—Ruth McCambridge