As a potentially-groundbreaking union effort by Amazon warehouse workers continues in Alabama this week, we’re taking an inventory of the swathe of unions that have appeared so far this year across newsrooms, tech companies, and other media teams.
Amazon appears spooked — it was reported last week that the company convinced the local government to recalibrate traffic signals outside the warehouse in Bessemer to stop traffic building up. Organisers had been chatting to workers about the union while cars were stationary.
It’s exciting to see so many groups of people coming together to try and swing the pendulum…
Five years ago, Gawker Media became the first digital newsroom to unionise. Since then countless digital and legacy news outlets have followed, prompting two Canadian journalism professors to pen a recent article for The Conversation titled What’s behind the new push for unionization by journalists. It stated:
“By our count, since 2015, journalists have unionized at more than 80 digital and legacy media outlets, including at BuzzFeed, VICE Canada, Vox, Canadaland and 28 brands owned by the conglomerate Hearst Magazines.”
Around the same time, Axios lent their excellent dataviz to the story, illustrating the timeline of 30 media unions formed…
Last weekend I watched all 6+ hours of Adam Curtis’ new film, Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of The Modern World, in one go. I learned from chatting with friends that many have a love/hate relationship with Curtis: they’d been watching too, and in many ways loved it, but spoke at equal length about how frustrating they find him as an artist.
I had the same feeling, which compelled me to write about the series and try and work some of my conflicting ideas about Curtis out. …
The first post I wrote for Chompsky’s launch last year was Can Australia Save Journalism?, a brief explainer on the country’s proposed ‘media bargaining code’ that sought to force the Big Tech ‘duopoly’ of Facebook and Google to give back some advertising revenue to news outlets. One response in the comments cited Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: “any headline that ends in a question can be answered ‘no’”.
While I wasn’t entirely naive about the code’s limited ability to revolutionise the news, media, and tech industries for good I was hopeful about the development.
I just spent over six hours watching all of Adam Curtis’ new film. I won’t say I didn’t understand it, because I mostly did. But it’s probably more accurate to say I felt my way through it, which makes sense for a film called Can’t Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World.
It’s a film about how, in the face of a lack of control, humans respond emotionally: either by hunkering down (learned helplessness) or by acting out (following a “strong leader” to authoritarianism) and in either case reinforcing the same old power structures…
Good afternoon all,
Just yesterday, workers at Medium announced they had voted to unionise. Regular readers of The Chompsky Weekly will know that I’ve been tracking a recent swathe of media unions emerging — last month it was Alphabet, last week it was the New York Daily News, and this week it’s our very own platform.
It’s a huge relief to see this expansion of worker power popping up all over the creative, media, and tech industries. It’s most directly influenced by the steady increase of Big Tech’s data addiction over…
On Feb 11 a majority of Medium’s 140 workers in engineering, editorial, design, product, and other departments, announced the launch of a new union. The Medium Workers Union (MWU) voted to join their local chapter of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) in San Francisco.
A statement on their local CWA site under the heading ‘We Build Medium’ explained the MWU’s motivations for organising:
“…both tech and media are at a crossroads, and it is more important than ever that companies in both industries are equitable and supportive of their employees. This is the age of newsroom buyouts, startups folding…
This week I’ve been mostly contemplating the future of UK broadcast news. Two new conservative news channels are launching in the UK: GB News helmed by Andrew Neil and News UK TV from Mr. Murdoch.
Alongside threats from Boris to the BBC and Ofcom, this may spell a significant sea change in the UK's media landscape; one that, in print, already skews heavily right. However, there are factors that could make this an utter red herring. Such STAKES.
I also wrote a review of John Smith’s…
In 2021, two new TV news channels are racing to launch in the UK: GB News, headed by former BBC heavyweight Andrew Neil, and Rupert Murdoch’s News UK TV.
While Murdoch’s project has remained enigmatically low-key so far, the GB News team have been forced to make numerous public assurances of impartiality as part of their publicity drive, as fears abound that the UK will be laden with not one, but two “FOX News-style” channels by the end of spring.
GB News is reported to be “a 24-hour current affairs channel” that will fill a supposed ‘gap’ in the UK…
I was at Bristol’s Black Lives Matter protest on June 7 last year. The deep desire for change within the crowd was tangible and the protest culminated in the toppling and sinking of the Colston statue, one of the most internationally renowned events amongst all of the protests last summer. The city is known as perhaps the UK’s most stereotypical liberal hub, and the structures which drive that picture have their benefits, and their limitations.
Shortly after the June protests, the former Colston Hall went ahead with its long-planned name change, becoming the ‘Bristol Beacon’. Many praised their city for…
Politics and culture writer. Editor of Chompsky. Media reform advocate. UK/US.