The Newspaper Guild changed its name to NewsGuild earlier this year, and now the Newspaper Guild of New York is asking its members to approve changing its name to NewsGuild of New York. The union leadership tells members today:
We recommend a “yes” vote on this question.
Background and explanation: Obviously, a lot has changed since our Local was chartered by the Guild 81 years ago. News, which was always at the core of the Guild’s mission, is still very much alive, but most of the newspapers that were around in 1934 are gone, and the circulations of those that survive peaked years ago. Most of the growth in today’s news business is in digital-based organizations.
For the Guild to best position itself to organize and represent journalists in the online world, it needs to shed its vestige of the 20th century. Several other Guild locals have already dropped “newspaper” from their names, and in January our Washington-based parent union also dropped “paper” from its name to become The NewsGuild-CWA. We are the largest Guild local in the United States and we’re surrounded by digital start-ups. It’s time we did the same. (No matter what our name is, we will remain Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America.)
A Guild spokesman tells Romenesko readers: “The letter [excerpted above] is going out to members Thursday (4/9) along with the ballots. The ballots are scheduled to be counted on 4/29 and the Guild is planning to announce the results on the same day.”