NBC News Digital Journalists Say They Are Going to Form a Union

By A.J. Katz Comment

More rough news for NBC News management.

As reported by The New York Times, NBC News Digital journalists announced this morning that they have decided to form their own union, representing roughly 150 journalists.

In a statement, the digital editorial team says that while the company boasts of diversity in hiring, it “falls short of the inclusive culture that retains and promotes a truly diverse newsroom.”

The digital journalists also says that the vertical is understaffed and employees are being given more responsibilities, “without commensurate pay increases.”

These aren’t the only reasons as to why the employees are forming their own union.

There’s the subject that NBC News just can’t shake: The company’s handling (or mishandling) of sexual misconduct allegations, most notably how the network dealt with Ronan Farrow‘s reporting on Harvey Weinstein and allegations against Matt Lauer.

The Digital staffers state that NBC News has failed to be transparent about issues in this realm.

“Recent weeks have highlighted serious questions as to how NBC News has handled incidents of sexual misconduct in the workplace as well as the opaque processes and procedures for reporting on and exposing powerful predators. NBC News repeatedly refuses calls for an independent review on both count despite numerous such requests from staff.”

At least one high-profile public figure is pleased by the journalists’ decision to form their own union.

“Forming a union will afford us a collective voice in decisions that will benefit the entire company, providing much-needed transparency an ensuring a safer workplace,” say the journalists.

NBC News Group digital evp Chris Berend sent the following memo to staff in response to the announcement that the NBC News Digital journalists planned to form their own union:

Team,

Earlier today, some of our colleagues requested that the company voluntarily recognize the NewsGuild for a portion of the staff within NBC News Digital. As we all know, similar discussions have taken place across many digital newsrooms over the past few years. I want you to know we are deeply committed to a fair and healthy workplace for all our employees. We welcome this dialogue from within our digital organization, and any constructive conversation aimed at building the future of NBC News Digital and ensuring that we’re the best we can be.

We will address this request quickly, and will keep you updated every step of the way.

As always, my door is open. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to me, as well as Lauren or Brittany who can also answer questions you may have.

Thank you,

Chris

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