OLD Media Moves

SF Chronicle's anti-union headline

August 16, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Randy Shaw writes on the BeyondChron blog that the San Francisco Chronicle’s Aug. 14 Business section headline, “Union rejected at papers,� had a decidedly anti-union tone.

San Francisco ChronicleShaw wrote, “A reader would logically conclude that workers at a local newspaper voted against union representation. But the subheadline and the article itself revealed the far different, and more ominous truth: as the Berkeley Daily Planet headline put it, ‘Media News Ends Newsroom’s Union’s Status.’ What the Chronicle headline wanted to frame as workers rejecting a union was actually a classic tale of union-busting. And the union-buster–the Media News Group– is a financial partner of the Chronicle’s parent company, the Hearst Corporation. Think that relationship affected the paper’s coverage?

“When Media News Group—which controls every Bay Area daily newspaper but the SF Chronicle and Examiner—busted its union at five papers including the Oakland Tribune, it would seem to be a front-page story. But in the Chronicle, the story was relegated to the business page, with a misleading headline that led readers to think that it was the workers who rejected unionization, not the corporate media giant.

< "What’s particularly interesting about the Chronicle’s headline, 'Union rejected at papers,' is that sfgate.com headlined the same story, 'MediaNews yanks recognition of Newspaper Guild.' It appears that the editors of the paper edition intentionally chose a headline that would misinform rather than educate readers."

Read more here.

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