History of Organizing

The boundaries of the media industry have expanded and shifted over the years, and the Guild’s membership has followed suit:

Since the Guild began in 1954, our member base has grown to include not just film, television, and radio writers, but also the creative professionals behind webseries, nonfiction television, online media, and podcasts.

No matter what changes have impacted the media industry, the Guild has always played a central role in fighting for—and winning—better standards for our members.

Five Years of Organizing in Online Media

Since the Guild’s first online media organizing victory at Gawker Media in 2015, we’ve seen a wave of media workers joining unions across the industry. The Guild has won representation at more than two dozen shops, including Vice, Vox, Salon, Gimlet Media, Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo, covering well over 2,000 online media writers, editors and producers. In a time when union density is falling in most industries, the Guild has defied the odds and organized a new industry.

For the fifth anniversary of the Gawker victory, Stephanie Luce, Professor of Labor Studies and Haley Shaffer, a graduate student in labor studies, both at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, spoke with union members and Guild staff about the gains the union has won in these five years, and how they continue to fight instability in an ever-changing industry.

Read the Digital Media Rising Whitepaper

A Decade of Organizing in Nonfiction

Since 2011, the Guild has been fighting for improved standards in nonfiction television, and have won recognition at many major nonfiction production companies, including:

  • Vox Entertainment
  • Vice
  • Sharp
  • Lion
  • NBC News Service (formerly Peacock)
  • ITV Kirkstall/Leftfield

The people who work in nonfiction television are joining together to secure safe working conditions, fair pay, and stable health benefits. We, alongside the members of our Industrywide Organizing Committee and the Women of Color Caucus, strive to bring economic and social justice to the people who create content in this multi-billion-dollar nonfiction television industry.

The Guild is working to ensure that writer-producers can build sustainable careers in the nonfiction television industry not only through shop-specific CBAs, but also through industrywide training programs and events.

Learn More About Organizing in Nonfiction

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