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Student journalists in Pittsburgh react to Post-Gazette strike

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A Post-Gazette worker holds a sign in support of the union's strike outside of the newspaper's offices on the North Shore.

Journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are demanding fair working conditions and students at local colleges and universities are paying attention. The Pitt News announced it would stop printing with the Butler Eagle, which has continued to produce the Post-Gazette while workers are on strike. Young people across the city are having conversations about productivity, working conditions, and the future of journalism.

Lilly Kubit, an intern with PublicSource, said she has been finding ways to support the cause. She’s watched the strike come to fruition—one of her writing mentors was involved in the Post-Gazette staff’s previous attempts to negotiate. She said that mentor taught her how to stand up for herself and her work.

Kubit said she hopes that journalists can be more respected by management and not just valued for their productivity.

“As we see, journalists are doing more than just writing now,” she said. “They're also expected to do social media and photography and videography themselves if they don't have a videographer with them and stuff like that.”

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Kubit has been delivering coffee to the picket line and using social media to share the union’s progress. She said she hopes this will set the course for better working conditions not only for reporters, but non-writing newspaper staff as well.

City Paper intern Alice Crow canceled her Post-Gazette subscription. She said she believes there is a difference in motivations for the people who write news and the people who own news, and thinks this strike will lift the rose-colored glasses for a lot of students with post-grad writing aspirations.

“Every student journalist is very fresh to the idea of this industry,” she said. “Being so close to people that are dealing with this makes you kind of realize, okay, you know, it's a reality check, but it's a good one.”

Post-Gazette management has maintained throughout the strike that they will "continue to serve the Pittsburgh community, our readers and advertisers, despite any work stoppage... We welcome our employees back at any time."