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The year to organize, unionize, and fight

“You cannot have one hand in the pot while you try to control the narrative with the other.”

2019 saw the demise of many newsrooms across the country. As private equity firms and corporate interests sought to make money in the news game, the ability for journalists to do their jobs was diminished. We saw the death of Deadspin and Splinter. We saw layoffs. We watched corporations launch entire campaigns to discredit the good work that newsroom unions do. We saw corporate heads not care that their greed was destroying the product.

Let 2020 be the year that newsrooms organize, unionize, fight for editorial independence, and fight back against corporate interests. They are destroying everything that makes journalism great.

You cannot have one hand in the pot while you try to control the narrative with the other. As our country shifts and careens down the road to a Trump dictatorship, it’s important that journalists have the ability and the support they need to tell these truths. America needs them.

We learned in j-school that journalists are the watchdogs of society. We cannot continue to be that if our corporate overlords continue to interfere with the way we report the news. Their fiscal interests can no longer supersede the American public’s need for truth. Editorial independence is a cornerstone of good journalism. Without it, we become nothing more than an extension of the PR team, our “truths” dictated by whoever has the deepest pockets.

As we move forward into this new decade, let us encourage newsrooms to get organized, bargain as a collective unit, create policies that protect editorial independence, and keep fighting the good fight. The future of our nation depends on it.

Monique Judge is news editor at The Root.

2019 saw the demise of many newsrooms across the country. As private equity firms and corporate interests sought to make money in the news game, the ability for journalists to do their jobs was diminished. We saw the death of Deadspin and Splinter. We saw layoffs. We watched corporations launch entire campaigns to discredit the good work that newsroom unions do. We saw corporate heads not care that their greed was destroying the product.

Let 2020 be the year that newsrooms organize, unionize, fight for editorial independence, and fight back against corporate interests. They are destroying everything that makes journalism great.

You cannot have one hand in the pot while you try to control the narrative with the other. As our country shifts and careens down the road to a Trump dictatorship, it’s important that journalists have the ability and the support they need to tell these truths. America needs them.

We learned in j-school that journalists are the watchdogs of society. We cannot continue to be that if our corporate overlords continue to interfere with the way we report the news. Their fiscal interests can no longer supersede the American public’s need for truth. Editorial independence is a cornerstone of good journalism. Without it, we become nothing more than an extension of the PR team, our “truths” dictated by whoever has the deepest pockets.

As we move forward into this new decade, let us encourage newsrooms to get organized, bargain as a collective unit, create policies that protect editorial independence, and keep fighting the good fight. The future of our nation depends on it.

Monique Judge is news editor at The Root.

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