Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guild recruiting 'foot soldiers' to fight for journalism

The Newspaper Guild labor-union affiliate of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) is stepping up its efforts to guarantee that journalism survives despite changes in how it's presented.

The fight for journalism in many ways is the fight for a representative republic, obviously.

TNG-CWA is planning a May strategy session in Cleveland and is encouraging broad attendance from U.S. and Canadian Guild locals.

Free Press founders John Nichols and Robert McChesney, authors of the new book The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again, have been invited to be a part of the discussion, which will focus on ways the Guild, organized labor and other groups concerned about democracy all can help maintain the vital role of a free press.

“This should not be a discussion about journalism," said Nichols, who's a co-founder of the nonprofit Free Press advocacy group and a writer for The Nation magazine and an editor at the Madison (Wisc.) Capital Times. "It should not be a discussion about newspapers, or a discussion about media. This is a discussion about democracy.

“The founders were very, very blunt: Freedom of the press meant not just a free press but a ‘press’ — something real.”