Journalists who cover news from a workers’ perspective will descend on Seattle this week, seriously overloading the area’s progressive media bandwidth.
These journalists and communication techies who are members of the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA), the AFL-CIO affiliate for unions’ media workers, will hold the organization’s 23rd biennial convention Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 22-24) at Seattle’s Westin Hotel. At the convention delegates will discuss and share ideas on how best to tell workers’ stories, hear about Wisconsin and how that movement and its story caught fire from John Nichols, The Nation’s Madison reporter.
Most of the convention will be focused on a Labor Media Center project where some 70 labor journalists will go out into the city of Seattle and surrounding locations to report local labor stories – including an update on Boeing’s outsourcing – and post those reports on a specially built website (http://seattle.ilcaonline.org/)
“Stories about what people do eight or more hours a day, of dignity, rights and safety on the job, of fair wages, health care and retirement security, are rarely found in the mainstream media unless they are being talked about as an impediment to business,” said ILCA President Steve Stallone. “Yet this is the reality the majority of people face every day, at least those lucky enough to have a job. They – and everyone else – need to see that reality reflected in the media. Sadly, too much of that job falls on us.”
Like the last two cities where ILCA held its conventions and set up a Labor Media Center, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, Seattle is teeming with workers stories yet untold.
“The media in Washington is invited to join us and observe how the labor press covers real issues that touch everyone who works for a living,” said Kathy Cummings, Communications Director for the Washington State Labor Council and an ILCA Vice President. “This convention is all about working people – our conditions, our fights, our victories, our rights, and especially our voice –which is far too often overlooked or ignored by mainstream media.”