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Mike Janssen

NLRB Sets Deadline for Thomson Reuters Settlement

Thomson Reuters and its unionized employees now have until April 28 to reach a settlement, or the National Labor Relations Board will issue a complaint against the company that will lead to an administrative trial.

The Newspaper Guild of New York announced today that the NLRB will await the outcome of an April 26 bargaining session between Thomson Reuters and the Guild, over which a federal mediator will preside. If a settlement isn’t reached, the NLRB will issue the complaint, which will carry three new charges, “namely that management illegally changed the health care and the 401(k) plans and that it illegally applied a code of conduct to Guild-covered employees that was never negotiated with the union.”

The Guild and management have been engaged in this contract dispute for more than two years. “The Guild estimates that employees have lost more than $2.4 million a year in compensation because of management’s illegally imposed work rules,” the Guild says in its release. “The company’s two imposed pay raises, by comparison, each amounted to less than $400,000.” Stay tuned for updates.

Postscript: It’s been fun blogging for you the past two weeks, but today marks the end of my fill-in stint here. Tomorrow you’ll be reunited with Rachel, your usual MJD blogger. Don’t be a stranger, ya hear?

Another Reminder: Send a Thank-You Note, Job Seekers

Are you in the habit of sending thank-you notes after a job interview? In case you didn’t already know, here’s more evidence that it’s a practice worth keeping up with. A new CareerBuilder survey found that 22 percent of hiring managers say they’re less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t get a thank-you after the interview.

Don’t worry about stocking up on fountain pens and fancy stationery, though — almost 90 percent of hiring managers say an email is acceptable, and for half, email is even preferred.

The CareerBuilder survey contains some other useful tips for job seekers. For example, most hiring managers would rather see a career summary than an objective, and a bulleted list of accomplishments is also preferred.

Also, a job seeker’s window for consideration is frighteningly brief, so keep those resumes clean and crisp. “One-in-five hiring managers say they spend 30 seconds or less looking at a resume, so all your communications need to be professional and to the point,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

Photo by NateOne.

Job Openings Rise, But Market Remains Tough for Seekers

The Economic Policy Institute analyzes some employment statistics released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that job openings were up by 352,000 in February. That may sound like a strong improvement, and it was indeed the biggest monthly increase in more than six years, writes Heidi Shierholz. But job openings are still a full 32 percent below their 2007 mark.

Shierholz also notes that February was the 26th month in which the “job-seekers ratio”—the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings—was more than 4-to-1. February’s 4.4-to-1 ratio was an improvement over January, when the ratio was 5.1-to-1. But with those kinds of odds, it’s no wonder that sidelined workers are taking their time re-entering the job market.

Read Shierholz’s full article here. Here’s the full BLS release.

The British Are Hiring! And Other Job Listings

Calling all Anglophiles — the British Embassy is looking for a Washington-based PR chief. We could load up this intro with numerous clichéd Britishisms, but we’ll cop some British reserve and resist that temptation. You should also check out some of the other jobs posted recently:

The British Embassy has an opening for head of press and communications. (Washington, DC)
Crain Communications has an open position for a managing editor. (Detroit, MI)
AOL seeks a head of category marketing, tech. (San Francisco, CA)
The Knot wants to hire a sales marketing professional. (New York, NY)
Movember is looking for a communications coordinator. (Venice, CA)
DRS and Associates needs a social media marketing expert. (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Meredith Corporation is looking for a business manager. (New York, NY)
Freedom House seeks an international executive volunteer in Tunisia.
Thomson Reuters wants to hire an accounting and compliance alert reporter. (New York, NY)
The Southern Poverty Law Center is looking for a public relations senior writer. (Montgomery, AL)
Darden needs a manager of internal communications. (Orlando, FL)

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to Mediabistro.com’s listings, to find the best media jobs out there. We screen out duplicates and scams so you know you’re only receiving the top choices.

As of the time of this posting, there were 1,584 jobs on our board.

Internet Ads Top Newspapers | Huffington Responds to Lawsuit | More Yesterday’s News

An Internet Advertising Board report has revealed that for the first time, Internet ad sales surpassed newspaper sales last year, according to Business Insider. Revenue totaled $26 billion, edging out $22.8 billion in the newspaper biz. That and more in yesterday’s news:

Patch Sites to Grow Under AOL Ownership

We’re not trying to be all-Huffington, all-the-time here, but such is the nature of media consolidation. There’s been a flurry of articles about the status of Patch.com following the HuffPo/AOL acquisition. Arianna Huffington’s faith in the Patch concept is translating into a new phase of growth for the network of hyperlocal news sites, after some scaling back earlier this year.

Bloomberg reported today that AOL will hire up to 800 full-time employees for Patch as it adds sites in markets across the country. Sites are now run by just one full-time editor and get additional content from freelance contributors. The hirings will bulk up those one-person shops. David Brauer of MinnPost.com reports that local freelance budgets are also up.

In an interview with Street Fight, Brian Farnham, Patch’s editor-in-chief (pictured), talks in depth about the hyperlocal business model and the future of his sites.

How is the AOL’s acquisition of Huffington Post affecting Patch?
We’re still figuring that out. It’s still early days. … We’ve had many active conversations with them so far, but the integration is an active machine with a lot of moving parts. I don’t have the crystal ball for how it’s all going to shake out. But I do know that in the conversations we’ve had with Arianna Huffington, she’s a huge Patch fan, definitely gets what we’re doing, loves the principle behind Patch … which is how AOL always felt too. Everyone realizes that Patch is trying to do something special and we don’t want to muddy those waters.

For even more about Patch, check out this “So What Do You Do?” Mediabistro interview with Farnham from November.

Some Reactions to the Bloggers’ Suit Against HuffPo

Our post yesterday about the news of unpaid bloggers taking the Huffington Post to court inspired some retweets and discussion, including this comment by Nicholas Roberts:

I expect the argument will be “we gave our content in order to build an independently owned, liberal media outlet, with the expectation that the Huff Post would stay that way. When it was sold to perhaps the most mainstream, of the mainstream media i.e. AOL-Time-Warner-CNN media complex, that social contract was broken.” […] The sharecroppers want something more than their “exposure”.

That’s possible, though has the fluff-heavy HuffPo ever come off as all that different from a product of the mainstream media? We’re not talking about Democracy Now or In These Times here.

The Wrap’s Dylan Stableford is also skeptical of the class-action lawsuit filed by Jonathan Tasini, noting that Tasini had a good five years to bring up this issue of bloggers not being paid and that Arianna Huffington has never treated the site’s bloggers as equal to its paid journalists.

That’s the biggest problem, Stableford argues: “It appears Tasini is hoping no one in the Southern District Court of New York has actually reads the Huffington Post — at least enough to recognize the qualitative difference.”

Tasini also told The Washington Post that some bloggers were promised future payment, though he didn’t offer specifics. That’s an intriguing claim, but without some proof it’s hard to know what difference it could make.

New Yorker’s Franzen Freebie | CPB Escapes Cuts | More Yesterday’s News

Jonathan Franzen writing about his buddy David Foster Wallace? Sounds like crack to a certain breed of contemporary-lit fanboy (i.e., me), which might be why The New Yorker picked just such a piece by Franzen to lure readers into “liking” the magazine on Facebook. Well, I like you anyway, New Yorker—you don’t have to seduce me with theatrics. But thanks for the freebie. That and more of yesterday’s news:

SF Journos Attest to Layoffs, Downsizing Over Past Decade

The job churn among professional journalists in the San Francisco Bay Area has been dramatically documented by a new San Francisco Peninsula Press Club survey. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the survey found that 44.7 percent of the 700-plus journalists surveyed had been “laid off, accepted a buyout or voluntarily left their job during a period of downsizing during the past 10 years.”

Despite that figure, most of the journalists surveyed—more than 70 percent—say they’ve stayed in the field. Fifteen percent have moved on to fields besides journalism.

More than 20 percent said they didn’t want for work over the past decade, while one in four said they were without work or unemployed for a year or less.

Check out the full survey.

Photo by Alain Picard

Unpaid HuffPo Bloggers File Class-Action Lawsuit

The Huffington Post’s unpaid bloggers now want a chunk of the site’s $315 million sale to AOL, and today they’re angling for it in the form of a class-action lawsuit.

Led by blogger and union organizer Jonathan Tasini (pictured), the bloggers announced the suit today, Forbes reports. Tasini’s name might sound familiar — as in “New York Times Co. vs. Tasini,” a lawsuit which sought compensation for freelancers whose Times articles had been included in electronic databases. That case was successful.

Tasini’s suit asks for $105 million for the bloggers. Peter Kafka of All Things Digital makes a good point about this effort: How can bloggers who willingly gave HuffPo their work for free now backtrack by claiming that they deserve to be paid?

As someone who makes digital content myself (I’ll let you guys judge its quality and engagement levels) I’m sympathetic to this kind of thinking. But only in a tears-in-beers kind of way, not a file-a-suit-in-federal-court kind of way.

Because I don’t understand where any of this is illegal. Just (arguably) unpleasant.

HuffPo argued that it was compensating its contributors with exposure. That’s always been the deal, and the contributors have already reaped whatever rewards that brings. Beyond that, it’s unclear what they can legitimately claim a stake in. Looks like we’ll find out soon enough.

Photo via Wikipedia: Thomas Good / NLN

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