Newspaper Coverage of the U.S. Labor Movement: The Case of Anti-Union Firings.

If the news media covered anti-labor events such as anti-union firings, the publicity potentially could galvanize community support for workers’ unionization efforts. But, when workers are illegally fired for supporting a union, do the news media cover the story? And if they do, under what circumstances? Utilizing the LexisNexis database of newspapers, I systematically searched for and analyzed the extent and nature of news media coverage of anti-union firings. The findings reveal that the news media consistently ignore anti-union firings. When covered, anti-union firings are treated as individualized and isolated events, diminishing the potential impact of the coverage on the public’s understanding of U.S. labor movement struggles. The results suggest that the U.S. labor movement faces unique obstacles to gaining favorable news coverage.

Carreiro, Joshua L., Labor Studies Journal; Fall 2005, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p1-20, 20p

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