The Beat is (Back) On! Labor Reporting Reemerges

Join the NFG Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships for a discussion about labor journalism today. Cosponsored by the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders and the Ms. Foundation for Women.

NFG Teleconference Series Call

May 03    1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Most major news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to labor and the working people. Once upon a time, it was common for newspapers to cover strikes and workplace issues. Now, only two major print dailies have a dedicated labor beat, and no TV network has a labor reporter at all.

But is a new day dawning for the labor beat? Investigative reporters are emerging with exciting, multi-media, sometimes multi-platform projects to expose employer abuses, government ineffectiveness, and workers’ struggles for basic rights on the job. 

Join us as we hear from national reporters about their award-winning work and the exciting new investigations they have in store. 

This webinar is free and open only to funders, philanthropic advisors, and foundation communications officers.

Special guests:

Ian Urbina, The New York Times

Jim Morris and Chris HambyCenter for Public Integrity

Tracie McMillan, Freelance Reporter and Author, The American Way of Eating (Scribner), 

Michelle Chen, Contributing Editor, Working In These Times, and Editor, CultureStrike
Moderated by E. Tammy Kim, inaugural fellow, Ms Foundation for Women

About our speakers: 

Michelle Chen is an editor at CultureStrike and a contributing editor at In These Times, where she writes for its labor blog Working In These Times. She is also a co-producer of Asia Pacific Forum on Pacifica's WBAI and a history doctoral student at the City University of New York. Her writing on economic and labor issues, gender, immigration and social movements has appeared on Alternet, American Prospect,, Jacobin, Ms., and The Nation, Newsday, The Progressive, Salon, and her old zine, cain. Previously she co-managed the PeoplesNetworks media collective and has conducted ethnographic research in China and media workshops in Palestine.

Chris Hamby’s reporting on labor, public health and the environment has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Science Writers, the White House Correspondents’ Association, Hunter College and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. His investigative work has covered subjects ranging from industrial explosions to air pollution to black lung disease. He also has written about the criminal justice system, policy and politics for newspapers and magazines. 

E. Tammy Kim is a writer and the inaugural fellow at the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she produces journalism and policy research on low-wage women workers, welfare, and child care access and labor. She has written for outlets like The Nation, The American Prospect, Salon, Guernica, and Gawker. She previously worked as an adjunct professor at Cooper Union, CUNY-Murphy Institute, and Yale; and as a workers' rights staff attorney in the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center. Tammy was a clerk to the Honorable Janet Bond Arterton, District of Connecticut, and holds degrees from Yale and NYU School of Law. She was raised by working-class Korean immigrants in Tacoma, Washington.

A working-class transplant from rural Michigan, Brooklyn-based writer Tracie McMillan is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. She has written about food and class for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Saveur, and Slate. McMillan moved into writing about food after a successful stint as a poverty and welfare reporter while working as the managing editor of the award-winning magazine City Limits in New York City. 

Jim Morris has been a journalist since 1978, specializing in coverage of the environment, labor and public health. He has won more than 60 awards for his work, including the George Polk award, the Sidney Hillman award, the Sigma Delta Chi award, and five Texas Headliners awards. He directed a global investigation of the asbestos industry that won the John B. Oakes award for environmental reporting from Columbia University in 2011 and an IRE Medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He also led projects on worker hazards at oil refineries and lingering air toxics problems in U.S. communities that won honors from the National Press Foundation, the National Association of Science Writers and Hunter College, among other organizations. This month, Morris and two colleagues will receive the Edgar A. Poe award for national reporting from the White House Correspondents Association. Morris has worked for a number of newspapers in Texas and California as well as publications such as U.S. News & World Report and Congressional Quarterly in Washington.

Ian Urbina is currently an investigative correspondent for the Washington Bureau of The New York TImes. Previously, Mr. Urbina had been a national correspondent covering the mid-Atlantic states since 2005. In that role, he was instrumental in keeping The Times out front on the West Virginia coal mining disaster and the Gulf oil spill, breaking story after story about BP’s cutting corners, lax oversight by federal regulators, moratoriums broken and the Alaska BP project. In 2012, he received A Society of Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) ""Best In Business"" award for his investigative series, ""Drilling Down"", which focused on oil and gas drilling in the U.S. He also received a Deadliner Award from the New York City Society of Professional Journal for the series. In 2010, Mr. Urbina received the New York Press Club’s award for feature reporting, for his series “Running in the Shadows,” which focused on the sexual trafficking of minors and the growing number of young runaways in the United States. He was also a member of the team that wrote a series about diabetes, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and also received a public service award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ New York City chapter and a Society of Silurians award for science health reporting.
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