1st Edition

New Media Unions Organizing Digital Journalists

By Nicole S. Cohen, Greig de Peuter Copyright 2020
    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    Investigating the wave of unionization that has seen over 60 digital and legacy media outlets unionize since 2015, this book explores how a flash of organizing by digital-first journalists has become a full-blown movement to unionize journalism, particularly in the United States.

    Through in-depth interviews with journalists and organizers, New Media Unions maps the process of labor organizing, foregrounding journalists’ voices and documenting a historic and ongoing moment in the digital media industry. Cohen and de Peuter examine what motivates union drives, then follow journalists through the making of a union from scratch. They explore how journalists strategically self-organize, apply their communication skills to alternative ends, generate affective bonds of solidarity, and build power to confront anti-union campaigns and bargain first contracts, winning significant gains and drafting a new labor code for journalism in a digital age. This book demonstrates that if journalism is to have a future, it must be organized.

    New Media Unions provides a counter-perspective on an industry in flux, whose protagonists—young journalists facing precarious futures—are using collective organizing to articulate a bottom-up vision for journalism’s future. This is a valuable resource for academics and researchers interested in political economy, journalism studies, and labor studies.

    Book website: www.newmediaunions.com

    Successful union drives and union affiliation, May 2015November 2019.  Introduction.  1: Motivation.  2: Activation.  3: Mobilization.  4: Recognition.  5: Negotiation.  6: Transformation.


    Nicole S. Cohen is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. She teaches in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, and in the Faculty of Information. She is the author of Writers’ Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age (2016).

    Greig de Peuter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the co-author, with Nick Dyer-Witheford, of Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (2009).