Media Labor Unions and Professional Societies

Newspaper Guild. The guild, whose 34,000-plus members hail from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, represents journalists, sales and media workers of all kinds in contract and other negotiations at newspapers, newsmagazines, and news agencies. The guild is affiliated with Communications Workers of America, which represents the broader communication sector.

SAG-AFTRA. The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which merged in 2012, represents and is a collective bargaining agent for 160,000 actors, announcers, journalists, singers, recording artists, and other entertainment and media professionals.

Writers Guild of America. As representatives of television, radio, and movie writers, the guild negotiates contract through two units—New York-based WGA East, which has over 3,800 members and is affiliated with the giant American Federation of Labor union, and Hollywood-based WGA West. The latter guild is not AFL-CIO affiliated and, in 2014, had a total membership of over 22,000.

American Association of Media Photographers. Originally formed in the 1940s as the Society of Magazine Photographers, the association aims “to protect and promote the interests of professional still and motion photographers, and associated imaging professionals.” In addition, it sets professional standards in those fields and provides opportunities to network with professionals worldwide. The association represents approximately 7,000 photographers worldwide in a range of photographic specialties.

Authors Guild. The Guild is the oldest professional association for published authors, with a membership composed of over 9,000 authors, literary agents, and publishing lawyers. It has a foundation that protects authors’ intellectual property rights and assists them in their professional work as well as safeguarding their right to free expression, among other functions.

Radio-Television Digital News Association. Founded in 1946 to set standards for television journalism at the advent of that technology, the organization also advocated for First Amendment rights on behalf of its members. In 2010, it changed its name from Radio Television News Directors Association. The Radio-Television Digital News Association Foundation was established to

promote leadership, set a bar for ethics in the newsroom, and protect electronic journalists’ rights in the courtroom and in legislation. The association presents the Edward R. Murrow Award for distinguished electronic journalism and other awards for both students and seasoned professionals. Its membership is about 1,175 primarily television and radio news directors. The association also has a substantial number of broadcast media student and educator members

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