Blogs give striking journalists a voice

byNicole Martinelli
Jun 30, 2011 in Journalism Basics

Journalists who had issues with management once resorted to news blackouts. Now they also take the protest online.

The latest virtual walkout is by journalists at the Village Voice, who are going on strike this weekend over salary cuts and dwindling benefits.

They won't just be protesting on a Tumblr blog called "The Real Voice" -- they'll be publishing stories and selling ads. The interesting part about the Voice protest is that they've convinced the sales staff to join editorial and use the online medium as a counter-publication.

IJNet reported on the recent "churnalism" strike, where journalists working for Tindle Newspaper’s North London and Herts papers protested staff reductions and budget cuts with a two-week strike documented on a blog, as well as a public funeral procession. Tindle agreed to reverse staffing policies and add part-time reporters.

Other examples include journalists on the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton UK, who revealed on a blog just how little they were getting paid from owners Newsquest/Gannett and the Brighton Argus who also documented protests online..

Whether these online protests are more effective remains to be seen, but going online gives journalists with grievances a voice and a way to communicate with readers that they didn't have before.