Reporting on Labor in the US Media

Labor News

Reprinted from Aljazeera by Cora Lewis, Buzzfeed; Michelle Chen, The Nation; Mike Elk, Payday Report; Christopher Martin, University of Northern Iowa on August 27, 2017.

There was a time when just about every American news organisation had at least one reporter dedicated to the labour beat. These reporters most likely walked from the local newsroom to the union halls where they sourced their stories.

Yet, over the years, the US media has deserted workers and sought more upscale, affluent audiences. When labour issues are reported, they are often seen through the lens of business, leaving little opportunity for the US working class to see itself and its concerns reflected in the media.

When you consider that more than 150 million Americans are in full or part-time employment, it’s a wonder there aren’t more stories about workers and the challenges they face in testing economic times.

“Labour as an issue has been really absent from the media coverage. Business reporting, whatever we call economics reporting now, is focused on financial markets. And we know from our everyday lives that financial markets is not where 99.9 percent of Americans live their lives,” explains Michelle Chen, contributing writer for The Nation. …

Aljazeera 8/27

About Jeffrey Burman 3199 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

Leave a Reply