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Strike Alert! Solidarity with Rochester NewsGuild-CWA Members on STRIKE at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

As the total solar eclipse captivated much of the nation last Monday, two local newspapers went dark. Ahead of the eclipse, two Gannett-owned newsrooms—the Austin American-Statesman and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle—launched strikes, withholding their labor on a historic news day to draw attention to the company’s failure to bargain in good faith and respond to the union’s common-sense proposals.

Both Austin (TNG-CWA Local 39213) and Rochester (TNG-CWA Local 31003) were in the solar eclipse’s path of totality, and with the news that Gannett dropped the Associated Press, Austin American-Statesman and Democrat & Chronicle readers found little-to-no local coverage of the eclipse on their websites, underscoring the need for strong local journalism and exposing Gannett’s bad faith bargaining.

“We see the eclipse as the exact sort of news event that demands experienced local reporters who know where to be, who know who to speak with, who know what to ask,” said Justin Murphy, Vice Chair of the Newspaper Guild of Rochester and education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle.