When labor and the biz media meet
Judy Ancel of LaborNotes.org writes about how labor leaders and the business media that cover them in Kansas City have met every month for breakfast since 1988.
Ancel writes,At first, getting union officers to attend an open forum with media was a tough sell. Most didn’t trust the media and hadn’t thought about how to use media to build union power. Their standard response when called by reporters was ‘No comment.’
“The media, of course, commonly called them ‘union bosses’ and only came around if there were conflict or scandal. ‘We were seen as the bad guys,’ said Herb Johnson, later secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO. Labor leaders thought media should report about peaceful negotiations that ended in a good contract, not just strikes.
“On the other side, the media accused labor leaders of being unresponsive and having unrealistic expectations, always wanting good news. They said labor often viewed balanced coverage as betrayal and couldn’t distinguish between the news and editorials, or understand the differing needs of print and electronic media.
“The Kansas City Star’s Diane Stafford said, ‘We used to call labor leaders and get the phone slammed down in our ears.'”
Read more here.
– See more at: http://labornotes.org/2013/12/unions-and-media-break-bread-and-stereotypes#sthash.xY7fZ0oh.dpuf