Shakir-san said More Perfect Union has shied away from covering the reorganization among technicians and journalists.
“Reporters love to cover other reporters, so there will be no shortage of coverage of media organization,” he said, “but we can fill in other areas. We’re talking about the Dollar General workers, the Burger King workers, the Buffalo Wild Wings workers. We mustn’t lose sight of that. “
On Sunday, More Perfect Union starts a new video stream that is supposed to give a left-wing answer to PragerU, a YouTube titan of right-wing ideology. The project, called Classroom (got it?), Aims to “build the Op-Ed side, or the case for why the values we hold are right,” Shakir said. The first video is a punchy, animated case for universal childcare.
The surge in working media has come with some eye rolls from the journalists who were working to the beat before it was cool. “It is both an exciting and immensely frustrating time to be a labor reporter,” said Sarah Jaffe, host of the Belabored podcast, in an email. She said she regularly sees “rookie mistakes” in reporting newcomers, including confusion over the intricacies of labor law and impatience with the granular details of contract negotiations.
Union leaders, however, say media attention is part of a bigger comeback for the labor movement.
Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (whose appearance on the Fast Company cover this summer was her own milestone), said benevolent coverage of unions could fill strike money, put pressure on companies and raise morale.
“I can’t tell you how much this coverage means to people who are in the middle of a strike,” she said.
Perhaps the best evidence of just how hot workers’ history has got is the overheated trending stories of late, a series of articles that renamed October “Striketober” and referred to that moment as the “Wave of Strikes”. But as the Los Angeles Times reporters Jenny Jarvie and Margot Roosevelt recently noted, the number of workers on strike is actually “relatively tiny”.
What may be even more striking, wrote labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein in Dissent, “is the cheerleader, the hope and anticipation of a labor recovery that is manifesting, since dozens of eager young journalists came to Bessemer, Alabama last winter to hear the union effort cover there, organize an Amazon distribution center. “