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Journalists strike at largest US newspaper group

Journalists strike at largest US newspaper group
Source: Video Screenshot

Hundreds of journalists at America’s largest newspaper publisher went on strike across the United States on Monday, accusing management of destroying local newsrooms.

The walkouts, set to last one or two days, involved Gannett employees from around two dozen newsrooms, the NewsGuild-CWA union said in a statement.

The strike affected publications in more than half a dozen states, including California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and New York, the union added.

Gannett owns more than 200 daily newspapers across the country, including USA Today, the Palm Beach Post and the Arizona Republic.

It was bought in November 2019 for around $1.2 billion by New Media Investment Group, also known as GateHouse Media.

Since the merger, newsrooms “have been hollowed out, local news coverage has dwindled, and Gannett share prices have fallen nearly 70 per cent,” said NewsGuild-CWA.

The union blamed CEO Mike Reed for “mismanagement” that has “demoralized newsrooms and made it impossible for reporters to have the resources to produce quality journalism.”

Gannett has cut nearly 20 percent of its journalism jobs in the last year, instituted unpaid furloughs, and suspended company contributions to retirement plans, the union said.

The guild has asked shareholders meeting at Gannett’s headquarters in Virginia on Monday to pass a vote of no confidence in Reed.

“Despite the work stoppage, in some of our markets, there will be no disruption and we will not cease delivering trusted news to our loyal readers,” a Gannett spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our goal is to preserve journalism and serve our communities across the country as we continue to bargain in good faith to finalize contracts that provide equitable wages and benefits for our valued employees,” the spokesperson added.

US regional and local newspapers have been struggling for years as readers turn to digital news and advertizing revenues plummet.

Newsroom employment in the United States fell from 114,000 to 85,000 journalists between 2008 and 2020, according to a 2021 study by the Pew Research Center.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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