November 1, 2021

Journalists at the Asbury Park Press, the Courier News and the Home News Tribune in New Jersey are now officially part of the APP-MCJ Guild. They received the results of their National Labor Relations Board election Thursday.

The new unit is part of the NewsGuild, the largest union representing journalists. The NewsGuild has been on an organizing spree in recent years, launching successful union drives at more than 15 Gannett newspapers over the past two years. Earlier this year, workers at three other Gannett newsrooms in New Jersey — the Bergen Record, the Daily Record and the NJ Herald — voted to form the Record Guild.

Just one day after the APP-MCJ Guild announced its successful election, editorial staff at Politico and E&E News went public with their own union drive. The journalists are calling themselves the PEN Guild and say that 80% of 250 eligible members have indicated support for the unit, which is a part of the NewsGuild.

The PEN Guild is calling on Axel Springer, the German media company that acquired Politico and E&E News in August, to voluntarily recognize the union. On Friday afternoon, Politico editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski emailed staff to let them know that management had reached out to the NewsGuild to “discuss an agreement” for recognition.

This marks a break in management’s previous approach to unionization. In August, founder and publisher Robert Allbritton emailed staff a list of reasons not to unionize. “My strong wish is that most POLITICO journalists will conclude after studying this question that a union is not in the publication’s interests, our reader’s interests, or in the interests of individual employees,” he wrote.

This piece originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.

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Angela Fu is a reporter for Poynter. She can be reached at or on Twitter @angelanfu.
Angela Fu

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