Worker Power, Worker Owners: A Panel on Worker Cooperatives in Media

Event Details

Tuesday June 18, 2024 6:00 pm

In-Person at the WGAE Office
250 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

& via Zoom Livestream


A virtual panel presented by the Writers Guild of America East, Democracy at Work Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and National Writers Union - Freelance Solidarity Project.

The media industry has never been the most stable place to work; its history has been characterized by booms and busts. But rounds of mass layoffs and corporate consolidations signal a need for a structural reset.

Can worker-owned cooperatives stop this race to the bottom, and empower media workers to build a resilient, revitalized, justice-oriented industry? Where do unions fit in?

In the last few years alone, the shuttering and reorganization of media companies has led to a dazzling array of new media cooperatives that center both media workers and mission. These include Defector, Hell Gate, and many more.

Join a hybrid conversation and workshop with these cooperatives’ worker-owners, as well as organizers, educators, and advocates from the Democracy at Work Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Writers Guild of America East, and National Writers Union – Freelance Solidarity Project to discuss the challenges and possibilities of the coop model and envision a sustainable and just future for the media industry together.


Additional names to be announced!

Esther WangEsther Wang is a co-founder of Hell Gate, a worker-owned, journalist-run outlet covering NYC news, politics, and culture. Previously, she was a senior political reporter for Jezebel.

Jasper WangJasper Wang leads the business side of Defector Media, the employee-owned sports and culture website. He was previously a management consultant.

Stacey MolskiStacey Molski is the Director of Business Operations and a worker-owner of Maximum Fun, a cooperative podcast network of artist-owned, audience-supported shows. She was on the small team that navigated Maximum Fun’s transition to a worker-owned cooperative, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Rebecca Lurie – Moderator

Rebecca Lurie is Founder of the Community and Worker Ownership Project at the City University of New York (CUNY) School for Labor and Urban Studies and the Murphy Institute where she also serves as faculty in the Urban Studies Department. She is a founding member of the worker-owned cooperative, New Deal Home Improvement Company.

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