OLD Media Moves

April 20, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The union representing journalists at the Wall Street Journal has been encouraging its members not go appear on CNBC as part of the paper’s agreement with the cable network as a way to put pressure on the parent company in the current negotiations on a new contract.

The move rankles outgoing managing editor Paul Steiger, who sent out a memo saying that the move is not covered as part of the union contract.

Paul SteigerHe wrote, “A refusal to do part of one’s job isn’t protected activity under the federal labor laws, and could expose the individuals involved to disciplinary action.” Apparently some reporters who were assigned to work on WSJ.com videos and podcasts refused to do the work.

The union, currently negotiating a new contract, has now responded with a post on its web site. In part, it says, “Starting today, our response is to stop appearing on all audio-visual media, unless we are paid or it was explicitly part of your job before this all began.

“That means no more Good Morning America, no more Today Show, no more MSNBC, NPR, or other outside radio or TV. Management has recognized that these appearances are voluntary, so please turn them down in ALL instances.

“We are also asking you to continue to say NO to Dow Jones video, radio and podcasts. In the great majority of cases, a simple ‘no thanks’ has worked fine.

“In a few instances, our members have been ordered by their direct supervisors to appear. We are not asking you to defy a direct order. But we are asking you to let your boss know that you will be appearing under protest.”

Read more here.

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