The New York Times Guild announced on Friday that about 1,000 of its members would walk out if their demands regarding raises and pensions, among other issues, were not addressed by December 8, this coming Thursday. And Nikole Hannah-Jones, the 1619 Project essayist, has since announced her intention to join the walkout. Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?…
Cockburn is somewhat perplexed, because to participate in a walkout, you would presumably have to be an active employee doing some form of work for the New York Times. Hannah-Jones tweeted on December 3 that, “I will be joining my NYTimesGuild colleagues in walking out if [the New York Times] doesn’t agree to a fair contract by December 8.”
Hannah-Jones is still listed as a domestic correspondent on the New York Times website. A quick glance at her author page, however, shows that she has not written anything for the paper since June 2020. A hiatus of over two years is a long time for a journalist.
Cockburn reached out to Hannah-Jones on December 5 in an attempt to find out what her plans were for future reporting, but has not heard back at the time of publication. He will, naturally, include her reply in full if she does eventually respond.
Cockburn is particularly wondering what her participation in the walkout will entail. Hannah-Jones has a tenured position at Howard University in Washington, DC, so it is not clear how the outcome of the contract negotiations would substantially impact her. Maybe her announcement is intended as a show of solidarity with the oppressed employees of the New York Times?
In any case, Cockburn will be interested to see how the contract negotiations turn out at one of the nation’s leading mainstream media outlets. It seems the unions won’t even leave their defenders alone.