Reporters stop tweeting

Apr 12, 2011

The Associated Press reporters and photographers around the country weren't tweeting or uploading their stories to Facebook today.  They also refrained from using their personal cell phones or cars for business.

The journalists  say they want to show management how much they are giving away to the company.  Gene Johnson, a legal affairs reporter for AP,  rallied with fellow journalists outside Associated Press offices in Seattle.

"We want the company to know how much we are sacrificing for the company," he said.

Johnson and his colleagues have been trying to negotiate a new contract with The Associated Press since October. A major sticking point is over deep cuts to pensions.

"I personally stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Johnson.

They also complain that AP has cut staff and now everyone is expected to do more with less.

A news release from the News Media Guild, which organized the protest, points out that The Associated Press is the world's biggest news organization. The release also says:

Associated Press journalists and technicians are the backbone of the news business, delivering unbiased coverage from across the globe.  When you read a newspaper, surf the Internet or turn on the TV or radio, you get news, photos and video from the AP.

The union has also set up an online petition. It asks people to show their support for reliable, quality journalism.