Internet Journalism Technology

Employee Unions In The Digital Media, From Vox To Buzzfeed

Given the animosity expressed by the libertarian cliques of Silicon Valley towards trade unionism, the growth of unions among the staff of many online publications, including Buzzfeed, Vox, and Vice, is remarkable. Admittedly, it has taken plummeting wages, conditions and mass layoffs to persuade some employees of the new “2.0” media to realise that the members of the old “1.0” media may have been on to something with their insistence on collective representation. Of course, we have been through this process before, when a number of press tycoons led the charge against print and journalistic unions back when newspapers dominated the medium, both broadsheet and tabloid. Robert Maxwell, the controversial Czech-British tycoon, was once lauded for his attempts to smash the influence of print unions in Britain. However his union-busting was eventually discovered to have a far darker side in the aftermath of his probable suicide at sea. When entrepreneurs and company executives strike a particularly hard line against their employees forming or joining trade unions it is with good reason. Or rather, usually entirely bad ones.

Below is a recent episode from the Laura Flanders Show discussing the subject.

(As a side note, here is a report by Laura Flanders from May 1990 discussing the application of censorship by the United Kingdom in the north of Ireland and the abject failure of American reporting on the conflict.)

3 comments on “Employee Unions In The Digital Media, From Vox To Buzzfeed

  1. ar an sliabh

    Almost all of the “main-stream” billionaires are making much of their money off of exploiting their workers, no matter how hard they feign being liberal or even socialist. They are reactionary, capitalist, and imperialist swine. Of course they are against unionisation, worker representation, and worker’s rights, and take every opportunity to undermine and undercut any societal socialist advance. American-based such individuals are the biggest perpetrators of this scam and that is why it is no wonder their bought-and-paid-for mass media would never bring any of it to light regardless of where it happens. These are multi-national, country-independent ventures, where anything protecting the worker, or god forbid, granting them a decent return for their work, reduces the profits of already insanely wealthy individuals greedily seeking more money and power. Many of these individual-formed empires financially outnumber and economically outperform most countries on our planet and are ruled with the iron fists of unforgiving, feudal despots. Not going to change anytime soon, I am afraid.

    • Though even though I’d broadly agree with you, it’s good to see some unionisation taking place.

      • ar an sliabh

        I applaud it. It needs to happen more. It’s going to need a lot of Larkins to get worker’s rights back on track.

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