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Michael Calderone
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Michael Calderone is the Senior Media Reporter for The Huffington Post. He previously covered media and politics for Politico, the New York Observer, and Yahoo! News. Calderone holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. He lives in Brooklyn.

Entries by Michael Calderone

Politico Denies Unionizing Effort Was Behind Reporter's Departure

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 4:05 PM


NEW YORK -- Politico confirmed Thursday that labor reporter Mike Elk is no longer with the company and said his efforts to unionize the newsroom were not the reason for his departure in a statement provided to The Huffington Post. 


"Mike Elk no longer works at...

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Bloomberg Braces For Layoffs, Washington Bureau On Edge

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 1:50 PM


NEW YORK – Bloomberg is bracing for layoffs in the coming weeks, the latest shake-up at a media company where editorial priorities and executives’ power have shifted greatly over the past year.


The New York Post first reported Thursday that 100 cuts were expected around Labor...

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McDonald’s Silent On Trespassing Charges Against Journalists At Ferguson Restaurant

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 3:31 PM


NEW YORK -- Since St. Louis County prosecutors filed charges last week against two journalists for trespassing and interfering with police at a McDonald’s restaurant during last year's demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, the fast food chain has not commented.


St. Louis County police arrested The...

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Media Coalition Protests Charges Against Huffington Post And Washington Post Reporters

(2) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 12:59 PM


NEW YORK -- The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in a letter signed by 38 news outlets and media organizations, on Tuesday called for St. Louis County officials to drop charges against The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery.


The...

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The Times-Picayune, Heroic During Hurricane Katrina, Braces For More Cuts As 10th Anniversary Nears

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 11:36 AM


In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many Times-Picayune staffers couldn’t return home. Some were separated from their families. And the future of their newspaper, published since the waning days of Andrew Jackson’s presidency, was, like the city itself, in jeopardy.  


Still, former managing editor...

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Politico Labor Reporter Mike Elk Apparently Out

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 11:29 AM


NEW YORK -- Labor reporter Mike Elk appears to no longer work at Politico, a news organization he joined in September and has been trying to unionize since late last year. 


Elk's company bio now redirects to Politico's homepage and he is no longer listed on...

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Huffington Post, Washington Post Reporters Charged For Doing Journalism In Ferguson (UPDATE)

(13) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 6:40 PM


 


NEW YORK – Reporters from The Huffington Post and Washington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer’s performance, a chilling setback for press freedom coming nearly a year after their arrests in Ferguson, Missouri.


The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly...

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Donald Trump Hijacks The 2016 Election News Cycle By Phone

(2) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 10:20 AM


NEW YORK -- Presidential candidate Donald Trump dominated the political news cycle over the weekend, after suggesting in a Friday phone interview with CNN that Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked such tough questions during Thursday's GOP debate because she was menstruating.


The offensive comment got Trump...

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Vice Media Votes To Unionize As Trend In Digital Media Continues

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 2:39 PM

NEW YORK -- Writers at Vice Media, the Brooklyn-based digital media company valued at $2.5 billion, have voted to unionize.

Vice employees sent a letter Friday to CEO Shane Smith and other top executives.  

"We are proud of the work we do here at Vice," it read. "We love being part of a company that is changing media and having an impact on the world.  We believe that a union is a logical step for the long-term legacy of the company." 

Vice management agreed to recognize the union and the two sides will begin collective bargaining. 

"I'm so proud of all my perfect diamonds here at Vice," Smith said in a statement. "Every single day your ideas and work continue to blow me away. I am proud to support all of you -- and as an old grey-haired man all I want is for my beautiful Vice family to be happy -- those writers who voted to unionize and those who did not. I love you all, and together we will conquer the world." 

Vice is the largest digital media company to unionize amid a string of recent organizing efforts. While employees at legacy media companies have long had opportunities to join unions, there's been little representation in the digital world.

Gawker sparked discussions about unionizing this spring with a debate among staff that took place more or less in public on the site. The employees voted in June to form a union. Salon followed suit last month, and Guardian US voted unanimously to unionize just last week. Other digital media companies are believed to be contemplating similar efforts. 

Like Salon and Gawker, writers at Vice Media are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East. Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said in a statement the union "is excited to work with these creative professionals, who want and deserve a seat at the table.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Vice writers' vote to unionize.  

Vice Media has 1,500 employees worldwide, including 700 in the United States. Roughly 10 percent of the company's U.S.-based employees are writers. At Gawker, 118 employees were eligible for the union. There were 26 and 45 union-eligible employees at Salon and Guardian US, respectively. 

Starting out as a punk magazine in the mid-'90s, Vice has grown into a media juggernaut with a 30,000-square-foot headquarters in Brooklyn and dozens of offices worldwide. 

Vice chief operating officer Alyssa Mastromonaco touted the company's growth in a statement, saying "every step of that dizzying growth has been a reinvention of what Vice does and how it’s done."

"That includes the never-ending process of building the most progressive workplace we can, which today includes giving employees 100's of millions of dollars in company equity, competitive salaries, paid leave and now tuition reimbursement," Mastromonaco continued. "Through these steps and others, Vice will continue doing whatever it takes to attract and retain the worlds best creative minds."

The Journal reported that in 2013, Vice management acknowledged that it paid editorial writers an average of $45,000 a year. A source told the Journal that the average for non-management employees is now close to $70,000. 

This has been updated to include statements from the company and the...

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Fox News Republican Debate Could Set A Ratings Record

(6) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 3:59 PM


NEW YORK -- Expectations are high for Thursday night's Republican primary debate -- not only for the 10 candidates taking the stage in Cleveland, but also for Fox News, the network that will be airing the whole thing.


A Washington Post profile this week of “Fox News...

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Bloomberg Editor Appoints New D.C. Bureau Chief In Hope For 'New Beginning'

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 2:35 PM


NEW YORK – Financial Times Washington bureau chief Megan Murphy is joining Bloomberg News as its Washington bureau chief and executive editor for U.S. government, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.


Murphy will report to senior executive editor Marty Schenker, who will move from...

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Democratic Candidates To Debate 6 Times, Starting In October

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 10:28 AM


NEW YORK -- The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday the schedule for its six primary debates, along with their network sponsors. The first contest, produced by CNN, will take place Oct. 13 in Nevada. 


DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a post on Medium,...

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Media Outlets Debate Whether Increased Access To Kochs Is Worth All The Strings Attached

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 5:09 PM


NEW YORK -- The Washington Post published an “exclusive interview” on Tuesday with Charles Koch, the press-shy billionaire industrialist, who, along with his brother David, is a major backer of conservative causes.


The Post was offered the sit-down with Koch as part of a joint interview...

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Journalists Attend Private Koch Brothers Gathering, But Agree Not To Name Donors

(33) Comments | Posted August 2, 2015 | 5:34 AM


NEW YORK -- Several news organizations gained rare access Saturday into a private gathering of influential Republican donors hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.


But journalists covering the three-day event, held at a luxurious California...

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MSNBC Cancels Three Shows As Ed Schultz, Other Hosts Depart

(50) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 4:37 PM


NEW YORK -- MSNBC has canceled "The Cycle," "Now with Alex Wagner" and "The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz as the network reconfigures its afternoon line-up to focus more on breaking news, according to a Thursday memo obtained by The Huffington Post. 


MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in...

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Will Dana, Rolling Stone Managing Editor, To Leave In Wake Of Retracted Gang Rape Article

(1) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 10:09 PM


 NEW YORK -- Will Dana, the managing editor of Rolling Stone, is leaving the publication in August, four months after the magazine retracted a bogus story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, a spokeswoman confirmed. 


Dana, who spent nearly two decades at the magazine, oversaw...

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Guardian US Votes Unanimously To Unionize

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 2:20 PM

NEW YORK – The staff of the Guardian US voted unanimously Wednesday to unionize under the News Media Guild, an action that comes amid a spate of labor organizing in newsrooms.

"The Guardian has a long tradition of supporting union effort," a spokeswoman for the Guardian US chapter of the News Media Guild said in an email to The Huffington Post.

"The move by Guardian US editorial staff to seek collective representation is consistent with the strong history of working in strong partnership with unions in the UK and Australia," she continued. "The vote was unanimous and we look forward to working constructively with Guardian management moving forward."

The Guardian, a British newspaper and widely read international news site, launched a New York-based U.S. edition in 2011. Guardian US led the news organization’s reporting in 2013 on disclosures from National Security Administration whistleblower Edward Snowden, winning a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service the following year.  

In a separate statement, Guardian US staff thanked new U.S. editor Lee Glendinning for "immediately welcom[ing] our initiative to seek collective representation."

"Our discussions with Guardian management have been conducted in a constructive manner and we're confident we can all achieve our stated goal -- a long-term, sustainable future for the Guardian and its quality journalism," read the statement, which appears in full below.

The Guardian US's move Wednesday comes as unionizing is increasingly discussed in newsrooms, especially as digital news sites without a legacy of collective bargaining have organized. Gawker voted to unionize in June and Salon announced plans to do so earlier this month. 

On Tuesday, Mike Elk, a labor reporter at Politico who is trying to organize his own newsroom, broached the topic with Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

The NewsGuild, part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), now represents over 2,000 digital workers at outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press and The Daily Beast. The News Media Guild is the local chapter of the NewsGuild.

A NewsGuild-CWA spokeswoman told The Huffington Post the union is currently in active campaigns with other digital media organizations.

Union leaders praised the Guardian US's organizing effort in statements Wednesday.

“The Guardian has a history of great reporting that continues today,” said Martha Waggoner, president of The News Media Guild, the local chapter that Guardian US staffers will join. “It’s a publication with a grand tradition of unionism that now includes its U.S. writers.” 

Bernard Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA, said it's “a big day not only for the writers and staff members at The Guardian US but for the news industry as a whole.”

“Digital media is growing up,” he continued, “and it’s time our digital reporters received the same benefits and protections as their print media colleagues.”

Here's the full statement from the Guardian US chapter of the News Media Guild:
 

We are proud to announce that the editorial staff of Guardian US have voted unanimously in favor of collective representation under the auspices of the News Media Guild, following a ballot which was conducted independently by the American Arbitration Association. The union has been voluntarily recognized by Guardian News & Media LLC following the result of that ballot.

 

We would like to thank the News Media Guild and the Communications Workers of America for their invaluable help, advice and support. Furthermore, we greatly appreciate the support shown by our unionized editorial colleagues in the UK and Australia, where the Guardian has a strong history of working in partnership with its unions.

 

We are also grateful to the leadership shown by the Guardian US editor, Lee Glendinning, who immediately welcomed our initiative to seek collective representation. Our discussions with Guardian management have been conducted in a constructive manner and we're confident we can all achieve our stated goal - a long-term, sustainable future for the Guardian and its quality journalism.

 

Guardian US is in the process of rapid growth, which has been reflected by increasing audience figures and groundbreaking journalism, from our Pulitzer prize-winning Edward Snowden disclosures to our current work highlighting police-related deaths through The Counted project. Together we look forward to continuing to enhance the Guardian’s reputation as one of the most read, most respected and most trusted news organisations in the US.

 

This article has been updated with statements from...

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John Kerry Meets Privately With Washington Bureau Chiefs To Discuss Iran Nuclear Deal

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 8:53 AM


NEW YORK -- Secretary of State John Kerry met Wednesday morning for an off-the-record discussion with Washington bureau chiefs on the Iran nuclear deal at the State Department, with plans to later make the Obama administration's case on Capitol Hill. 


Marie Harf, a senior communications adviser to Kerry, said...

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Trey Yingst, Journalist Arrested In Ferguson, Wins Settlement From St. Louis County

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 5:31 PM


NEW YORK -- Trey Yingst, a journalist arrested during November protests in Ferguson, Missouri, has settled a civil rights lawsuit filed against St. Louis County and the commanding officer involved in the incident.


Yingst, who filed the suit in December with the American Civil Liberties Union of...

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New York Observer: 'No Good Way To Cover Trump' On Opinion Page

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 9:55 AM


NEW YORK -- The weekly New York newspaper owned by Donald Trump's son-in-law has no opinion on Donald Trump's candidacy.


Jared Kushner, owner and publisher of The New York Observer, surely has plenty of opinions. Before Trump officially got in the ring, Kushner, who is married...

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