AP union says no tweeting, Facebook


In dicey union negotiations, it seems the modern silent protest is an embargo on tweeting.

Representatives for the News Media Guild are urging union employees of the Associated Press not to promote their stories on Facebook or Twitter early next week.

Reporters often volunteer to spread links out of good will for their employer or for obvious narcissistic reasons. The labor union is discouraging people who's job explicitly entails using social-networking services from participating in the boycott.

Executives for the AP wire services and the News Media Guild will reconvene starting on Monday to resume contract negotiations, said Tony Winton, the union's president. An AP spokesman declined to comment for this story.

"We're trying to basically communicate through social media the unity of our group in trying to negotiate a fair contract with AP," said Winton, an AP reporter currently taking a leave of absence.

To complement the internet silence, the guild is also helping to organize rallies at AP bureaus, according to an email from a union organizer that was obtained by the Poynter Institute. In the past, AP reporters have withheld their names from appearing in their stories' bylines.

CNN formerly subscribed to the AP wire service, but that business relationship ended last year.

The social-media protests will take place on Monday and Tuesday, during the next set of in-person negotiations between the two parties.

Promoting stories online, while valuable, is generally not a formally outlined obligation for most reporters. So the union is using it as a bargaining token.

More AP union says no tweeting, Facebook

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