Labor Rights

Police seize photos from student newspaper in Virginia

Jordan Fifer, , Roanoke Times

ROANOKE, VA - At least half a dozen police officers and the Rockingham County commonwealth's attorney raided the offices of James Madison University's student newspaper Friday, confiscating hundreds of photos of an off-campus riot last weekend, the paper's editor said.

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Turmoil at radio KDNA, La Voz del Campesino

KNDO-TV

Turmoil at Spanish-language radio station KDNA continues long after the end of an employee strike, with employees staging a sit-in Wednesday night that carried into Thursday.

Protesting and picket signs, led by teamsters, fired KDNA employees and other members of the local Hispanic community. It's an all too familiar site in Granger.

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NPR Fires a Top Black Manager

Richard Prince, Journal-isms

Less than 24 hours after hosting the National Association of Black Journalists at its headquarters in Washington, National Public Radio let go the black journalist in charge of its newscasts, Greg Peppers, one of two black men in newsroom management at the network.

Peppers, who has been with NPR since the 1980s, was escorted out of the building Friday, colleagues said. He was executive producer of NPR's newscast unit.

"We don't comment on [an] employee's reasons for departure or any other personnel matters," spokeswoman Anna Christopher told Journal-isms.

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Portland newspaper guild to vote on concessions for Blethen sale

David Hench, Portland Press Herald

Leaders of the largest union at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram have agreed to contract concessions that could pave the way for the sale of Blethen Maine Newspapers to an investment group led by Bangor native Richard Connor.

The Portland Newspaper Guild announced to members Friday in a hastily called meeting that Connor has secured the financing to make the purchase, and that a package of wage concessions and other changes would be voted on next Friday.

There is some urgency in the union vote, guild leaders said, because a 2 percent wage increase for members is scheduled to take effect June 1. Friday's vote will determine whether that wage increase is suspended and whether to put in place a new contract that will meet the demands of those financing the purchase.

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Lack of newsroom diversity is one cause of newspaper crisis

Mark Fitzgerald, Editor and Publisher

Minority journalists warned for years that diversifying newsrooms was critical to newspapers' survival. The industry's failure to make more than the barest progress towards diversity partly explains its current crisis, the president of the umbrella group for journalists of color said Tuesday.

"We've been screaming for years that this is about survival," said Rafael Olmeda, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel assistant city editor who heads Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. "The industry failed to make changes, and now it is now reaching the audience it wanted to reach."

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Changes at KDNA prove a rocky road

Melissa Sánchez, Yakima Herald

GRANGER, Wash. -- Change is not coming easily to this small town's beloved radio station.

When the man who led Radio KDNA for close to three decades retired last summer, he said it was time for the next generation to empower and educate the Latino community.

Clearly it was no longer the same farm worker community the station sought to reach 29 years ago, when Ricardo Garcia helped found it.

His successor envisioned reaching out to second- and third-generation Latinos like herself, creating new partnerships in the Yakima Valley and pushing the station into the digital age.

"I wouldn't be trying to fill Ricardo's shoes, but I would bring my own pair of shoes," said Maria Fernandez, the new executive director of the station's operator, Northwest Communities Education Center (NCEC). "We're two different people."

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Globe union reveals management demands include salary cut

Joe Strupp, Editor and Publisher, Editor and Publisher

The New York Times Co., which has threatened to shut down The Boston Globe, is seeking union concessions that may include pay cuts reaching 20%, the removal of seniority rules and lifetime job guarantees, and millions in cuts to company contributions for retirement and health plans.

The Globe reported today that the paper's proposal was explained by union leaders at a Wednesday night meeting of the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents some 700 editorial, newsroom, and business office workers, about half the Globe's union staff.

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Playing with fire: Times Co. threatens to shut down Boston Globe over labor dispute

Robert Gavin and Robert Weisman, Globe Staff

The New York Times Co. has threatened to shut the Boston Globe unless the newspaper's unions swiftly agree to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said.

Executives from the Times Co. and Globe made the demands Thursday morning in an approximately 90- minute meeting with leaders of the newspaper's 13 unions, union officials said. The possible concessions include pay cuts, the end of pension contributions by the company and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees now enjoyed by some veteran employees, said Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's biggest union, which represents more than 700 editorial, advertising and business office employees.

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Union accepts cuts in response to Hearst threat to shut down SF Chronicle

Associated Press

The San Francisco Chronicle and its largest union reached a tentative agreement on contract concessions that are part of the newspaper's efforts to dramatically cut costs to prevent a sale or closure.

The terms reached Monday with the California Media Workers Guild give the company expanded ability to lay off employees without regard to seniority, according to a statement on the guild's Web site.

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McClatchy cutting 1,600 additional jobs

Associated Press

McClatchy Co. is shearing an additional 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting spree that has clipped nearly one-third of the newspaper publisher's work force in less than a year.

The latest reduction in payroll announced Monday follows through on the Sacramento, Calif.-based company's previously disclosed plans to lower its expenses by as much as $110 million over the next year as its revenue evaporates amid a devastating recession. The layoffs will start before April. Several of McClatchy's 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee and The Kansas City (Mo.) Star, already have decided how many workers will be shown the door.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey