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The NewsGuild-CWA is a labor union founded by newspaper journalists in 1933. In addition to improving wages and working conditions, its constitution says its purpose is to fight for honesty in journalism and the news industry's business practices.

The NewsGuild-CWA
Full nameThe NewsGuild-CWA
Head unionCommunications Workers of America
AffiliationIFJ, AFL-CIO
Key peopleBernie Lunzer, president
Office locationWashington, D.C.
CountryUnited States, Canada



The organization's founders were Joseph Cookman an editor of the New York Post, Allen Raymond of the New York Herald Tribune and Heywood Broun of the New York World-Telegram.[1] Carl Randau was its director from 1934 to 1940.[2][3] It was originally called the American Newspaper Guild, but it changed its name in the 1970s to reflect the fact that it also operated outside the United States. It had expanded into Canada in the 1950s.

It became affiliated with the American Federation of Labor in 1936, then left to go into the new Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1937, when it expanded its membership to non-editorial departments. It merged with the Communications Workers of America in 1995. The Guild is also affiliated with the International Federation of Journalists.

The Guild has more than 32,000 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Its membership has expanded from just journalists to many other employees of newspapers and news agencies, such as clerks who take classified ads and computer support workers. It also represents workers in a number of other industries.[citation needed]

In 2015, the union changed its name from Newspaper Guild to its current name, NewsGuild, to reflect that newspapers aren't the only publishers of news.[4]

Broun's influenceEdit

The Newspaper Guild, represented by many journalists and other written media workers since 1933, became one of the most continuous and effective media organizations in the United States. Heywood Broun was one of the most respected journalist and most popular, highly paid contributor. On August 7, 1933, Broun acknowledged the New York World-Telegram column and the progress of the newspaper’s business which was successful. He evaluated the progress more closely with his bosses than any other colleague of similar economic standing. Broun wrote, “the fact that newspaper editors and owners are genial folk should hardly stand in the way of organization of a newspaper writers’ union. There should be [always] one.” His column has influenced journalists from many states to rise up in opposition to the newspaper’s authorities and organize by publishers to show the importance of the newspaper union and expanding the foundation.[5]

Heywood launched the Guild during the Depression according to the biography which Richard O’Connor said, “newspapermen to take a more practical view of their working conditions and organize against the rapacity of publishers.” During the earlier times of the Guild, there were complaints from the “rapacious” publishers about federal regulation of minimum wages and maximum hours for newsroom workers set by the National Recovery Act. The publishers wanted an amount of money to not pay tax on from the NRA on constitutional grounds and their First Amendment rights would be prohibited if the workers were forced to restrictive management under the government as the forty-hour work week. This rallied around from Broun’s call for labor union and one would speak for all newsmen and newswomen.

1933 - presentEdit

From 1933 to the present, the Guild grew with over 35,000 reporters, photographers, editors, advertising sales representatives, professional service aid, and other workers for the media which not only occurred in the United States, but also throughout Canada and in Puerto Rico. In 1970s, the union expanded its scope outside of the United States. and adopted the name of Newspaper Guild or TNG. It also collaborated with another union called the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 1977. The combined union had hundreds of thousands of workers in telecommunications and media, and later adopted a new name, The Newspaper Guild-CWA.

Depression within the businessEdit

The impact on print media workers of the industry in the past few decades has changed in unexpected ways. In 1950, exactly 1,774 daily newspapers were in the United States. Over the decades, an unexpected outcome happened in 2002 as only 1,457 were in the United States, showing an 18 percent decrease. During the same period, the quantity of newspapers with circulations raised more than 250,000 increased by 8.5 percent, but the total newspaper circulation was declining. The amount of daily newspapers dropped while of large newspapers showed popularity with an increase. This caused a loss of members members. A poll was announced and polled people in late February 2004 which queried members of the Guild if they knew anyone that was laid off. Of those who were surveyed, 76 percent responded that they knew of at least one colleague who had lost their job in the past five years. As well as one of the five reported that they needed to leave by themselves as it was risky.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ New York Times November 16, 1933
  2. ^ Abe C. Ravitz, Leane Zugsmith: Thunder on the Left, Intl Pub, 1992, p. 102 [1]
  3. ^ Benjamin Stolberg, The story of the CIO, Arno, 1971, p. 251
  4. ^ O'Shea, Chris (2015-04-30). "Newspaper Guild Rebrands to NewsGuild". AdWeek.
  5. ^ McChesney, Robert; Newman, Russell; Scott, Ben (2011-01-04). The Future of Media: Resistance and Reform in the 21st Century. Seven Stories Press. ISBN 9781609800451.


The Walter P. Reuther Library is the official repository of The Newspaper Guild Official Archives. Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

External linksEdit