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Digital Media Unionism: A Labour Movement in the Making

Thursday November 19, 2:30 pm, Online via Zoom

This year’s invited lecturer is Professor Greig de Peuter of Wilfrid Laurier University, whose research focuses on work, employment, and labour politics under contemporary capitalism. His talk, “Digital Media Unionism: A Labour Movement in the Making” will address the value of labour organizing as an entry point to the critical study of media work and media futures. It will expand on a recently completed study, in which Dr. de Peuter and his collaborator, Dr. Nicole Cohen (a ComCult alumna), interviewed journalists and union organizers involved in unionization campaigns at more than seventy-five publications, both digital-first outlets like Vice and BuzzFeed, as well as legacy media, including the Los Angeles Times. De Peuter’s talk will trace the making of this media labour movement by mapping constitutive moments in the union formation process, revealing in turn: the working conditions and inequalities that journalists are contesting; the cultures of solidarity tha sustain union drives, combat anti-unionism, and underpin contractual gains; and how newsroom employees turn their professional communicative competencies to an alternative end—to build worker power.