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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Friends of Chris Duncan, an AP sports reporter and News Media Guild member who died last week, will hold a celebration of his life Sept. 20.
The service will start at 11 a.m. and be held at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston, Texas. His friends also have set up a Facebook page titled Remembering Chris Duncan to share photos and memories.
n lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests to honor the memory of Chris by making a donation to The Living Bank, P.O. Box
6725, Houston, Texas 77265,

  • www.livingbank.org
  • chrisduncan
    Duncan, who was 43 when he died, had recently returned to work after a kidney transplant. Authorities confirmed his death Sept. 8. A cause wasn’t released.
    Guild President Martha Waggoner spoke with Chris's parents to let them know of the Guild's sorrow at their loss and to offer the union's help.
    Duncan was a 20-year AP employee who started with the news cooperative as an editorial assistant in 1994 in Louisville, Kentucky. He worked in Raleigh, North Carolina, before returning to Louisville and moving to Houston in 2005.
    He joined the AP's sports department in 2009 His beat included coverage of the NFL's Texans and the NBA's Rockets.
    According to The Living Bank transplant organization, Duncan received a kidney transplant from a friend after posting about a condition on Facebook. He had just returned to work at The AP in early August.

    AP airlines writer and News Media Guild member Scott Mayerowitz won the Beat of the Week for his interview with one of the passengers involved in a fight about reclining seats on airplanes.
    Mayerowitz won the $500 award for his interview with James Beach, who had used the Knee Defender to prevent the passenger in front of him from reclining her seat. The fight caused United Airlines to divert the Newark-to-Denver flight and kick both passengers off in Chicago.
    Scott Mayerowitz
    Beach contacted Mayerowitz on Twitter after seeing his story about the travails that airline passengers face today. He confirmed Beach’s identification as the passenger in seat 12B and produced both a text and radio story from the interview.

    Read more ...
    Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines, Iowa, bureau

    Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines, Iowa, bureau

    In early August, I attended a conference held by the Communications Workers of America on mobilizing young leadership within union locals.

    I wasn’t looking forward to the conference because I was feeling apathetic about work. The long contract negotiations had me down. It would have been easier to tune out than to attend an event where I’d be told how critical union participation is.

    I left three days later rejuvenated and ready to work.

    At the conference, I was surrounded by newspaper employees (Wall Street Journal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chicago Sun-Times, to name a few) who shared their experiences of contract negotiations. I spoke with union members of other organizations within CWA, too. They also told me their stories of stalled talks.

    The consensus? The road is long and hard. You get what you put in.

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    Carl Druga

    Carl Druga

    AP staffers from the Atlanta bureau and South Desk took their message opposing

    Atlanta staffers leafleting against AP's offers

    Atlanta staffers leafleting against AP's offers

    the company’s cheap contract offers directly to managers meeting for a training session at an Atlanta hotel this week.

    On Monday, staffers spent two hours outside the hotel distributing flyers objecting to the company’s worst proposals – huge health cost increases, an inadequate raise, forced transfers, slashed severance pay and creation of second-class “news associates” jobs.

    The News Media Guild’s bargainers instead are seeking annual raises of 3 percent, limited increases in health care costs, better job security and other improvements.

    The Atlanta staffers returned Tuesday and leafleted during lunch time. One woman passing by asked if they were union workers, then eagerly said, “Yeah! I’ll take one.”

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    NMG member Michelle Smith won last week’s Best of the States award for back-to-back exposés of how former Providence

    Michelle Smith

    Michelle Smith

    Mayor Buddy Cianci’s children’s charity isn’t really helping kids.

    Cianci for years has been selling his Mayor’s Own Marinara Sauce, with the claim that sales are “Benefiting Providence School Children” and that his charity has helped hundreds of students attend college.

    Smith, the supervisory correspondent in Providence, became suspicious, investigated and found that no money from sauce sales had been given to the scholarship fund in recent years.

    First, she got a Cianci advisor to concede to her that the label could be seen as false advertising. The she got Cianci to admit that, “There’s a certain public relations aspect to it all to me. … I can’t deny that.”

    Next she pulled hundreds of pages of public documents and got watchdogs to analyze the charity’s finances.

    Read more ...