New York, NY – This week’s episode of LaborPress’ Blue Collar Buzz pulls no punches in discussing the urgent need for
independent journalism that exists to serve the needs of working men and women.
Producing news that the working class can use to benefit themselves and their families should be fundamental to the good ‘ol US of A — sadly, it is not. And without independent journalism, the corporate media runs the whole show and working people get the shaft.
“You’ve got a handful of very rich people that own the majority of mainstream media outlets across this country — and how is labor ever going to get its message out — let alone stop being portrayed as a villain every time you turn around?” WNY LaborToday Producer Tom Campbell tells Blue Collar Buzz.
For the last 10 years, Campbell has dedicated himself to providing news comprehensive coverage of the ever-changing workplace and the issues that directly impact the lives of everyone who works for a living. But the task is growing increasingly difficult.
“It seems that the only time [mainstream media] is interested in labor, is a picket, a strike, or worse yet, an indictment,” Campbell says. “And it really shuts the door on a lot of good things that are going on in the labor movement.”
Dedicated journalists, intent on providing in-depth, accurate news stories need to be supported — instead, as demonstrated by owner Joe Ricketts’ abrupt shuttering of DNAinfo and Gothamist news sites, they’re being shown the door.
“This was a very harsh and anti-worker move by a billionaire,” Workers Independent News correspondent Doug Cunningham tells Blue Collar Buzz. “And that’s the problem we’ve got in America today — the billionaires run everything and they don’t like working people standing up at all to get anything — no piece of the pie, no piece of the power at work…despicable anti-union action and anti-free press action.”
As Cunningham insists, the corrosive cost of losing hardworking, independent journalists cannot be understated.
“This is not just a worker and a labor issue — or not even just a journalism issue — this is a democracy issue,” Cunningham says. “It goes to the core of our democracy in America. We have a county that is supposed to be of, by, and for the people — all of the people. Not just the billionaires. And if their voices drown out ours — that damages the very fabric of our democracy.”
But ’tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, Blue Collar Buzz is getting a jumpstart on the holidays with an upbeat visit with the creators of a wonderful labor-themed children’s book called “Good Guy Jake” just in time for Christmas.
As Hardball Press Publisher Tim Sheard tells Blue Collar Buzz, “Good Guy Jake” is the story of a kind-hearted Sanitation worker whose good works get him into trouble with the big bosses.
“Twenty years ago, I read a story about a Sanitation worker who had been fired for taking toys from the trash — he was repairing and painting the toys and giving them to children at a local shelter for Christmas…for some reason, this story stuck with me,” Sheard says.
Author Mike Torres, general counsel for Teamsters Local 810, is glad to spread some holiday cheer — and a pro-labor message!
Says Torres, “Just last week, I read the book to my daughter’s class. At the end, there were questions & answers. I asked, ‘does anyone here think that Jake would have any chance of getting his job back if he was not a union member?’ All of them said, ‘no!’
Full episode below:
LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night from 9 to 10 p.m. on AM970 The Answer. Listen online at LaborPress.org, or check out the library of past episodes at www.am970theanswer.com.