OLD Media Moves

Where is the labor coverage in the biz press?

June 8, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Bill Witherup writes on the Political Affairs magazine web site that he would like to see more labor coverage in daily newspapers, especially the two daily newspapers in his hometown, Seattle.

Bill WitherupWitherup wrote, “Occasionally news on labor and trade unions appears in the Business section or in the national news. But most of the copy in the Business section gives voice to, and butters up, the corporate world. Labor is almost invisible: the men and women who actually build and maintain the corporate office buildings, who maintain our streets and highways, who build our bridges, grow, process, butcher, catch, and distribute our food are seldom heard from or seen in the pages of our two daily newspapers.

“When I asked one of the business editors of the two dailies, via email, why there was so little coverage of labor in the paper, and why the Business section was called the Business section, he replied that it was business that most readers were interested in. He did not say the obvious, that the corporate world provides most of the advertising revenue. (Check out the cost, for instance, for a full page mobile phone ad!)

“One of the assumptions of the print media – and television is not worth talking about in terms of a free press – is that the working classes do not read and can not think. Therefore the likes of Bill Gates get a bully pulpit – and he is but one example – to push technology and see to it that as many young people go to university so that he can keep his cubicles on the Microsoft campus full of white collar drones. Little does the newspaper- reading-public know that in the present greater-Seattle economy – though this is not necessarily so across the entire United States – that a trade-union worker makes a better living, and has better health-care than most university graduates. Granted, this situation may not last forever, given global warming and the repercussions for all of us.”

Read more here.

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