Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher H. Sterling
Audiences for newspaper or electronic news media rarely pay attention to union organization of the people that produce and distribute that news—until a strike intervenes and stops news flow. As with other industries, news media owners nearly always hold a more negative view of labor unions than their employees. The changing national economy has led to upheaval in union organization and considerable recent consolidation. Indeed, by the last quarter of the century, membership began to decline in many newspaper and broadcast unions as the country steadily shifted from a manufacturing to a services economy. Generally speaking, labor unionization has been a more important factor in larger markets. Closed shops (where union membership is required as a condition of employment) are common in larger newspapers and broadcast stations (and especially networks), while less restrictive situations (open shops or even a lack of unionization) are more the norm elsewhere. Media unions tend ...