For immediate release: October 6, 2022 


Gannett employees, both union and non-union, along with elected representatives and activists will gather for a public rally on Zoom to talk about their national fight to bring back local news. The webinar will be open to the public.  

Journalists are calling out the company’s continued decimation of newsrooms, low wages, and lack of investment in local news, while employees carry on their jobs amidst food insecurity, and lack of resources. 

This rally comes amidst a string of direct actions taken by unionized Gannett employees all across the country protesting recent massive staff cuts across newsrooms. 

NATIONAL — Hundreds of reporters from unionized Gannett-owned newsrooms are holding a big online rally around their fight to restore local news. Invitations were sent out to around 15k employees across Gannett-owned newsrooms, including both union and not yet union, hundreds of public supporters, as well as journalists who were laid off recently. 

Union members will speak about how they’re fighting against unilateral company actions such as layoffs, outsourcing work, ending operations in low income and vulnerable communities, and massive staff cuts resulting in thousands of neighborhoods losing coverage. Joining these journalists will be Florida Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and New York State Senator James Skoufis, as well as musician and activist Billy Bragg.

This is the first public rally since a devastating wave of layoffs in August, when Gannett cut 3% of its US workforce. Unionized Gannett journalists across the country assert that the financial austerity at Gannett is a result of financial mismanagement on the part of the company, as it continues to spend millions on union-busting law firms, CEO bonuses and stock buybacks, while violating labor and wage and hour laws, paying poverty wages, slashing newsroom staff and failing on diversity goals

Members conceived this rally in response to Gannett’s company-wide Town Hall a week after the mass layoffs, where CEO Mike Reed, who pocketed $8 million in salary last year, presented. The union members boycotted that Town Hall, and instead collectively took to social media with the hashtag #AnswerUsMike.  

“It's empowering to see so many local newspaper journalists banding together to take back our power. We have to keep holding Gannett, our parent company, accountable,” said Jenna Watson, Photojournalist, Indianapolis Star, President, Indy News Guild. “This is bigger than our own work lives and working conditions. This is about saving local journalism as we know it. It's a public service our communities cannot afford to lose.”

All unionized newsrooms are in various stages of bargaining with the company, putting forth demands for the company to invest in local news by providing employees fair pay and stronger salary minimums, increasing staffing, and making a real commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

“The company has been steadfast that we should somehow be grateful for what they’ve given us — like wages so low that members have food and housing security issues and absolutely no job security,” said Mike Davis, Journalist and Vice-Chair of the APP-MCJ Guild, which represents journalists at the Asbury Park Press, Courier News and the Home News Tribune in New Jersey. “If Gannett is serious about settling contracts by the end of the year, they need to understand that we’re not going to settle for less than what we deserve. This rally is the next step in our fight — but, by no means, is it the last step.”

The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 50 Gannett-owned newsrooms across the country, with many of these newsrooms organizing in the past couple of years, behind the rallying cry of “restoring local news” and saving “the news our communities deserve.” In the last 15 years, more than 1,800 local newspapers have closed their doors for good due in part to media conglomerates like Gannett.   

“Workers at Gannett are unionizing to save their publications for the communities while executives push layoffs and line their pockets with gold,” said Jon Schleuss, President, The NewsGuild-CWA. “The NewsGuild continues to grow because thousands of us are dedicated to helping every journalist fight to save local news. It is a righteous fight because we are fighting to save the very foundation of our democracy in a free press and community news.”

"Gannett newsrooms have found strength and support in each other where our company's leadership has failed us. Mike Reed, Maribel Wadsworth-Perez, Doug Horne and the executives making millions should be ashamed of how they treat not only their underpaid employees, but also how they treat the communities they serve," said Veronica Serrano, Editorial Assistant, Austin American- Statesman, Bargaining Committee Chair, Austin NewsGuild. " They’ve slashed jobs and content, hurting employees and loyal subscribers alike. It's our responsibility as journalists to inform the public and that is the goal of this rally, to bring this information to light and to explore how we can work together with the community to right the wrongs that have been committed under Gannett's callous leadership."


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