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Thursday, October 13, 2011
MRC's Gainor Thinks TV Scriptwriters Are Journalists
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor has big news to announce in his Oct. 12 NewsBusters post: "The big news here is that two separate news unions, including the newspaper guild [sic], the recognized union for many print and online journalists, and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are fully behind the radical message of Occupy Wall Street."

Only, not so much. The link he provides to prove this does not list the Newspaper Guild (Gainor seems to have decided that's not a proper union name and insists on not capitalizing it) among the organizations who "stand in solidarity" with Occupy Wall Street. Rather, he claims: "The newspaper guild [sic] is part of the Communications Workers of America, listed prominently among 16 union supporters of Occupy Wall Street." That's not the same thing.

The other group Gainor is freaking out about, the Writers Guild of America, East, isn't really for journalists. As Gainor himself notes later in his post, the Writers Guild is a “labor union of thousands of professionals who are the primary creators of what is seen or heard on television and film in the U.S.,” and that includes “everything from big budget movies to independent films, late night comedy/variety shows to daytime serials, broadcast and radio news, web series, documentaries, and animation.”

In other words, the Writers Guild is largely stacked with people who write scripts for entertainment shows, not news reporters. 

As for Gainor's attempt to throw around the Society of Professional Journalists' ethics code, he might want to work in-house first by sending a copy of that to the MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com. After all, they don't seem terribly interested in following ethical principles these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 AM EDT

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