The New York Times actually mentioned the ongoing strike against Verizon on Tuesday.
David Wacker, a service technician with Verizon who is one of around 39,000 landline and cable employees participating in the largest U.S. strike action in four years, was quoted in an article about Bernie Sanders supporters, which noted, in a subordinate clause, that he was on strike.
That brief reference was the first mention of the Verizon labor action on the news pages of the New York Times in a week.
The most recent references before that also had to do with Sanders, when he visited a Verizon picket line in midtown Manhattan on April 18. Outside of those Sanders-focused stories, the New York Times hasn’t run a story on this major labor battle since its second day of action, nearly two weeks ago.
A review of Times stories reveals two items from the day the strike began, April 13. Brian Chen wrote about “How the Verizon Strike Could Affect You,” and he joined Noam Scheiber for a news piece about the strike. In an April 14 piece for the technology-focused “Bits” section, Jim Kerstetter assured Times readers that most Verizon customers wouldn’t notice the strike. That was the last time the news pages mentioned the labor action, outside of fleeting references in Sanders stories.
Paul Krugman did lead a column about monopolies on April 18 with a discussion of Verizon’s lack of business investment in its FiOS high-speed broadband network, a primary complaint of striking workers. An April 21 Associated Press story on Verizon’s first-quarter earnings, reprinted on the Times website, also alluded to the strike.
The Verizon strike, now in its third week, has generated some headlines elsewhere. NBC News described it four days ago as “a fight for the future of labor.” The Philadelphia Inquirer recently discussed the central issue in the strike: Verizon outsourcing call centers overseas in contrast to its rivals, who are in-sourcing those jobs. And several outlets pointed out that one of Verizon’s attorneys struck two union picketers with his Porsche.
The New York Times’s longtime labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse, took a company buyout in December 2014 and left the paper. While he still writes freelance pieces, only one major national newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, has a full-time dedicated labor reporter.
The Times’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who would normally respond to questions about the paper’s coverage, ended her tenure on April 16. The Intercept has attempted to ask the Times executive editor and managing editor about their lack of coverage of the Verizon strike. So far there hasn’t been a response.
According to a New York Times media kit for advertisers, the median household income for readers is $160,864 a year.