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Our goal as a publication is to go into “news deserts” primarily in Appalachia and the South and do high impact reporting that achieves results for workers. In 2017, we raised more than $35,000 dollars from over 600 readers to do reporting no one else is doing.
Our trailblazing journalism has been cited in national publications such as The Guardian, USA Today Network, HuffPost, Politico, Esquire, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Columbia Journalism Review, Al-Jazeera, The New Republic, The Observer, and Pacific Standard.
Here are some of the highlights of what we have done.
- In June, Payday Report exposed that DNC Chair Tom Perez had stumbled in his pledge to provide paid internships at the Democratic National Committee. Following our investigation, the DNC announced in December that they would start paying their interns.
- In Canton, Mississippi during the historic union election at Nissan, we filed over 15 dispatches with reader support including 5 for The Guardian; nearly 3 times as many stories as our competitors. (See them all here.)
- In May of 2017, Payday broke the story of how Sergio Gutierrez, a 31-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, was electrocuted to death while working on a construction site in Nashville. Payday began raising questions about Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s track record on workplace safety and soon the local media began to follow Payday’s lead. In December, the Mayor finally decided to sign onto a bill to improve workplace safety in the city.
- Payday broke the story of Conor Lamb’s decision to run in the PA-18 Special Election. We also wrote a 7,000-word longform about my native Westmoreland County showing how Democrats could win in the district by reclaiming their labor legacy. (See “Homecoming: Retracing My PapPap’s Steps in the Fight to Win the Pa 18th Special Election & Stopping the Northern Outbreak of “Right-to-Work”)
- Following an investigation by Payday Report, SEIU fired one of their staffers over the sexual assault of another staff member within their organization. Payday Report uncovered that SEIU allowed a staffer who had been forced to leave one Boston-area SEIU local following an internal investigation to then be rehired at two other SEIU locals in California.
- Finally, a state records request performed by the Knoxville News Sentinel showed that the President of the University of Tennessee System, Joseph DiPietro, was swearing in emails about Payday Report’s coverage of how the United Campus Workers defeated his plan to outsource thousands of campus jobs.
And here are a look at some of the other stories that nobody in the national press was covering except Payday Report
- We broke the story of how Trump’s OSHA was not coordinating health and safety training with immigrants rights workers groups, putting hurricane clean-up workers at risk in Texas; our exposé in the Guardian came out the day before a hurricane clean-up worker was killed by a flesh-eating bacteria.
- At the Kentucky Derby, we captured the story of how Trump’s crackdown on undocumented workers was upsetting the millionaire horse owners.
- When the Newspaper Guild picketed the Washington Post, we were the only outlet to cover it.
- Again, in North Carolina, we were the only national outlet to cover the state Legislature stripping farm workers of union rights.
- Before national outlets picked up on the story following Hurricane Harvey, Payday was also the only outlet to cover how unnecessary delays by the Obama Administration allowed Trump to roll back vital chemical safety reforms.
- In Chattanooga, Tenn., Payday broke the story of how low wages and school bus privatization contributed to the death of five children in Chattanooga. We then cut a syndication deal with the African-American owned Chattanooga News Chronicle to get Payday’s stories on the crash in print to its 30,000 readers.
- Before Randy “Iron Stache” Bryce was a national sensation, Mike Elk crashed on his son’s bed for a week in Racine, Wisc., and broke the story of his now-viral run against House Speaker Paul Ryan.
- 9 month before Doug Jones’ historic victory, Payday traveled to Huntsville, Ala., where we covered the effect that Indivisible activists in the Deep South were having on the fight to save Obamacare (and we plan to go back to Huntsville a lot this year).
- We were the only national outlet to cover how the Pittsburgh DSA took out two key incumbents and is poised to take out even more incumbents in this May’s Democratic Primary.
- We were the only national outlet to cover the defeat of the Steelworkers union drive at Kumho Tire in Macon, Georgia, by a mere 28 votes. Payday also broke the story of how Kumho fired a union activist in retaliation.
- We just so happened to be there in Baltimore when news broke that the city’s Democratic mayor vetoed legislation that would have raised the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Through our weekly Payday Report newsletter, we showed how Southern nonprofits receive, on average, only one-tenth of the national average of foundation funding.
- Finally, on Mike Elk’s 31st Birthday, he covered the 90th birthday of an Italian Resistance fighter in New Castle, Del.
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