Journalists from the largest press group in the US go on strike

Hundreds of journalists from the largest press consortium in the United States, Ganett, went on strike across the country on Monday, accusing management of destroying local newsrooms.

The strikes, which will last a day or two, involve Gannett employees from about two dozens of American newsrooms, the NewsGuild-CWA union said in a statement.

The strike affected publications in more than half a dozen states, including California, Texas, Florida (southeast), New Jersey and New York (east), the union added.

Gannett owns more than 200 newspapers across the country, including USA Today, The Palm Beach Post, and The Arizona Republic.

It was bought in November 2019 for around $1.2 billion by New Media Investment Group, also known as GateHouse Media.

Since the merger, newsrooms “have emptied, local news coverage has decreased and Gannett’s share prices have fallen nearly 70%,” the NewsGuild-CWA said.

The union blamed the executive director, Mike Reed, for the “mismanagement” that “has demoralized newsrooms and has made it impossible for reporters to have the resources to produce quality journalism.”

gannet clipped nearly 20% of their journalism jobs in the past yearinstituted unpaid leave and suspended company contributions to retirement plans, the union stressed.

The union asked a shareholder meeting at Gannett’s headquarters in Virginia on Monday to pass a vote of no confidence against Reed.

Journalist jobs in newsrooms in the United States decreased from 114,000 to 85,000 between 2008 and 2020, according to a 2021 study from the Pew Research Center.

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