Union-led conference considers future of media industry

by Joe Strupp, Editor and Publisher

About 150 participants are expected at a Communication Workers of America conference this weekend in Baltimore aimed at addressing the crisis in all media, including newspapers.

Titled "Future of the Media Industry," the three-day event, which also includes the Newspaper Guild, will offer events that focus on today's media issues ranging from alternative ownership to training and union organizing in tough times.

"It's a discussion about the future of our industry, but with a union focus," said Bernie Lunzer, Guild president. "What can we do to help our owners who are struggling?"

Among the panelists and speakers are Ken Doctor, well-known media veteran who runs contentbridges.com; Sara Steffens, a guild leader in Northern California who was laid off from a MediaNews Group chain after organizing a local guild unit; and other guild leaders from St. Louis and Minneapolis.

"The most important aspect is to try to figure out what is left of the brands and what we can do," Lunzer, elected last year, said about the state of newspapers. "One is to try to get the first-line workers to push into the business development. We want to be partners in that. The more active they are, the better they are."

article originally published at http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=....

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