The Washington Post

New York Times journos: Not the fiercest union advocates

The video above answsers the pressing question of whether newspaper veterans can serve as fierce union advocates: They could use some training.

There’s too much evenhandedness and high-mindedness to get really riled up about the position of the New York Times Co. in the ongoing negotiations with the Newspaper Guild of New York. In the two minute-plus presentation, Times national correspondent Amy Harmon says “it’s frustrating” that the negotiations “haven’t gone anywhere.” Reporter Kevin Sack laments that the Times could bleed talent to competitors willing to pay great salaries. Reporter Dan Barry gets a touch more direct: “I like having my pension, and I’d like to keep it.”

In a brief chat, Barry acknowledges: “We’re probably better journalists than union advocates.” Harmon on the same topic: “We want to uphold the quality of the paper. Everyone I know feels that way — that’s what we’re fighting for. I don’t think that makes us bad activists.”

No matter, really: The slide near the end of the video, about former CEO Janet Robinson’s exit package, provides a militant finishing agent.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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