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New York Daily News journalists walk out in protest

Chelsea Lojano

Following continuous layoffs at local and nationwide news sources, the staff at The New York Daily News walked off their jobs in late January. By pushing against budget cuts in a public way, journalists can bring attention to this pervasive issue, while simultaneously showing that they will not accept this reality.

This is the first strike in over 30 years, and it is indicative of deeper troubles plaguing the news industry. The driving force behind the walkout was a union push against changes being made by Alden Global Capital, the investment firm that bought The Daily News in 2021. The changes include layoffs, issues with overtime policy and budget cuts.

The Daily News used to be known as the “largest circulation in America” but has dropped from 4000 employees, to a total of 54 in 2022. This strike coincided with alarming developments in media across the country, as Forbes walked out the same day and many publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Sports Illustrated experienced growing financial troubles.

At the same time as major news organizations faced financial hardship, disinformation has wreaked havoc globally, making accurate reporting more important than ever. An industry rivaled by the growth of social media and rampant misinformation, journalism continues to face salary cuts, work limitations and even job loss which has prioritized finances over content.

Union steward Michael Gartland said “Alden wants to act as if we are not being chiseled. We’re not going to engage in that intellectual dishonesty. In reality, we’re being crushed for cash. As a result, staff is diminished, which means our ability to cover the city is diminished. We believe this is bad for New York.

As journalists, they have a commitment to the truth and accuracy, which was showcased in their actions. By publicly striking, they revealed the reality that news organizations are facing and showed their dedication to change that reality.

It could be argued that this is an isolated issue and that The New York Daily News has experienced an issue with management that isn’t necessarily reflective of the news industry as a whole. However, in reality, local and national newspapers across the country, such as the LA Times, Time Magazine and National Geographic, have experienced the same struggles.

This strike was an impressive stance of a small body of workers against further stifling in the name of profit. In the face of so many issues in the world of reporting, journalists remain one of the strongest lines of defense against misinformation. Reporters should not back down in the face of media destruction and it appears they’re not willing to.

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