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Published March 2, 2020

We, the journalists of Delaware Online/The News Journal, are forming a union. 

We are uniting to preserve the quality of our coverage and fight for the future of our newsroom.

Our newsroom has been telling the story of the First State for more than 100 years. We have kept a critical eye on those in power, uncovered backroom deals and shed light on the lives of the most vulnerable Delawareans. 

It’s all possible because of our award-winning team of journalists. Our veteran reporters and photographers have deep roots in Delaware and know the state better than anyone else. And our early-career journalists moved across the country to learn and serve a community through local news. 

Our newsroom, like many others, has endured routine rounds of layoffs and cuts. This, combined with growing health care costs, stagnant salaries and constant staff turnover makes it difficult to maintain the high caliber of journalism that we strive for — and that Delawareans deserve.

The merger of Gannett and Gatehouse Media — both of which have histories of mismanaging resources to the detriment of journalism — has created an entirely new company. This is not the same Gannett, which only heightens the uncertainty we already face in our industry. 

We want a say in the corporate decisions made about our staff and how we do our jobs. We deserve to have a seat at the table. 

More than a dozen legacy Gannett-owned publications have unions, including the Detroit Free Press, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star and the Arizona Republic. Several legacy Gatehouse papers have organized and negotiated strong contracts. 

Newsrooms across the country are organizing at increasing rates, and seeing results. We are joining them because we believe in journalism.

As local journalists, we live in the communities we cover. We are there for the worst moments, and for the celebrations. Our reporters and photographers are there, under the lights at a Friday night football game. We are in Legislative Hall, city council chambers and school board meetings late into the night.  

And we don’t want this to change. We are passionate about the work we do. But our readers deserve better, and so do we. 

We are asking Gannett to voluntarily recognize the Delaware News Guild, with the hopes of creating a productive and long-lasting relationship.

Our Guild will continue to fight for the future of our newsroom and local journalism. We look forward to doing so together. Join us.