A labor union dedicated to quality journalism through fair working conditions for the men and women who provide the news.

The Guild represents workers at The Associated Press, United Press International, and employees of the Spanish EFE News Service

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AP White House reporter and Guild member Josh Lederman has won the prestigious Merriman Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association for his deadline story about a fence-jumper at the White House.

“Lederman was also resourceful enough to use social media to locate an official source for comment on a Friday night, when official Washington normally rolls up the sidewalks, to confirm his hunch that the breach was more serious than it was being portrayed,” the judges said. “Lederman’s quick thinking and ability to turn around a story with nuance in a short time frame made this report stand out.”

AP White House reporter Josh Lederman

AP White House reporter Josh Lederman

He' ll accept his award on April 25, at the WHCA’s annual dinner in Washington.

Lederman was one of the few reporters still working at the White House at 8 p.m. on Sept.19, 2014, when he heard Secret Service agents shouting that the building was lockdown.

He rushed to the press office, where agents soon arrived to evacuate people to a basement. After being led into the street, Lederman wrote a brief story that moved at 8:17 p.m. And he kept reporting.

Lederman, 29, has been on the White House beat since 2013.

 

The Executive Committee of the News Media Guild met recently in New York City with new members Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines and Steve Karnowski of Minneapolis. New member Jill Bleed of Little Rock was unable to join us because she's a new mom; she'll be available for our joint meeting with the Representative Assembly in August.

Members John Braunreiter of Milwaukee, Vin Cherwoo of NYC and Don Ryan of Portland, Ore., also attended the meeting.

From left back, Rick Freeman, who represented the RA; Guild administrator Kevin Keane; VP John Braunreiter; VP Don Ryan; VP Steve Karnowski; front from left, President Martha Waggoner; VP Barbara Rodriguez; and Secretary-Treasurer Vin Cherwoo.

From left back, Rick Freeman, who represented the RA; Guild administrator Kevin Keane; VP John Braunreiter; VP Don Ryan; VP Steve Karnowski; front from left, President Martha Waggoner; VP Barbara Rodriguez; and Secretary-Treasurer Vin Cherwoo.

The highlight is that the EC promised to stay more in touch with the members when we're not bargaining. It's easy to forget the majority of your union's work happens when we're not bargaining.

Administrator Kevin Keane is always responding to emails, helping staffers with evaluations and investigating possible grievances or filing them. So we agreed to keep you updated on those grievances and contract-related issues with emails such as the one sent earlier this week about job security.

We also will request meetings with AP to review human rights, training, health and safety and professionalism concerns.

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By Terry A. Anderson
Special to the Newseum

Thirty years ago, when I was snatched off the street in Beirut by radical Shiites calling themselves “Islamic Jihad,” the world took my plight and that of other Westerners kidnapped in Lebanon’s long war to heart. During the nearly seven years I was held, countless demonstrations were staged on our behalf by churches, journalists, hometowns in America, France, Britain, Ireland and many other countries. Miles of yellow ribbon were tied to oak trees, and newspaper editorials ceaselessly demanded our release. When I finally emerged from the Lebanese gulag, the longest-held Western hostage, there were dozens of boxes of letters waiting for me, from school children and ordinary people across America, along with grand welcome home parties in New York and Washington.
TerryAndersonAP
Today, when more than 90 journalists have been taken captive in Syria, many by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State,” both demonstrations and editorials are few, mostly involving the families of the prisoners. With the repeated spectacle of televised brutal murders by these medieval-minded fanatics, the anger and outrage is muted. The public seems to be exhausted by the many horrors of recent years. While governments in Europe have paid ransom to gain the release of some of their citizens, the U.S. government has stood stolidly on its long-held policy of “No negotiations, no ransom.”

That policy, which was hardened into stone while I was still in a basement cell, had as its central theme the idea that paying ransom would only encourage more kidnapping. That is a principle I can agree with. When Ollie North and the Reagan administration came up with the idea of trading weapons for hostages in the 1980s, it achieved the release of three American hostages. Unfortunately, by the time the third went home, Islamic Jihad had already collected several more. The initiative, illegal as well as badly carried out, was abandoned when it became public. North barely escaped jail.

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Here's your chance to participate in the News Media Guild and help your AP colleagues learn the value of their union.

The Executive Committee has called for a special election to fill the following vacant seats on the union’s Representative Assembly. The terms of office expire on Feb. 21, 2018:

elections to get new government or president free election for n

APTN delegate
APTN alternate
AP Broadcast delegate
AP Broadcast alternate
AP New York City alternate
AP Northeast delegate
AP Northeast alternate
AP Northwest delegate
AP Northwest alternate
AP Southwest delegate
AP Southeast alternate
AP West delegate
AP West alternate
EFE delegate
EFE alternate
UPI delegate
UPI alternate

Only members in good standing are eligible to nominate candidates or run for office.

The nominating period opens on Monday, March 23, 2015. Nominations must be RECEIVED no later than Monday, March 30, 2015. Willingness to serve statements must be received no later than Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Faxed petitions showing signatures may be sent to the Guild office at (212) 840-0687. A pdf of a signed nominating petition that is sent to the union by email is acceptable. The original should be mailed in.

Ballots will be mailed no later than Friday, April 17, 2015, and must be RECEIVED by Friday, May 8, 2015, the day the election committee counts the ballots. If there is only one candidate for a post, no election will be conducted and that person will be declared elected.

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