IMPACT: Payday Forces Nutting-Owned Newspaper to Cover West Virginia Strike

Last Friday, Payday brought you the story of 30 Machinists out on strike at the Tecnocap in Glen Dale, West Virginia for over 7 weeks.

Despite the high profile nature of their picket line bordering the main highway, both of the local Wheeling newspapers both owned by the Bob Nutting, the casino billionaire and owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates refused to cover it.

The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register are two of nearly 40 papers owned by Nutting’s Ogden Newspapers Inc. The media group is based primarily in Northern Appalachia and owns over two dozen newspapers scattered among Southern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Western Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In the heart of Rust Belt, the Nuttings own marquee papers in mid-size cities such as the Altoona Mirror, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, the Winchester Star, the Frederick News-Post, and the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

Now, sources say that after Payday Report brought national attention to the lack of coverage with a 1,700 word expose that the Intelligencer decided to publish a 371 word snub on the strike that ignores many of the underlying issues of the strike.

It’s pathetic to think that seven weeks into the Technocap strike, the Intelligencer has finally published its first story on the labor dispute and the result is pathetic: a mere 371-word snub. The workers at Technocap deserve better in their community-wide struggle for justice against Technocap.

As a labor publication, our goal is to draw attention to areas that aren’t getting much news coverage and provide better coverage and forcing local outlets to cover these stories better.

In the 9 months since I have been home in Western Pennsylvania, I have shocked by the lack of labor reporting particularly in those papers owned by Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting. We intend to do more in coming weeks and months to hold these papers responsible for the commitment they have to the workers who read them.

Donate to Payday to Help Us Continue to Cover the Technocap Strike.

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is the founder of Payday Report and also covers labor and immigration for The Guardian. In 2015, he was illegally fired for union organizing as Politico’s senior labor reporter and used his $70,000 NLRB settlement to start Payday. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and has dinner with his folks regularly. He can be reached at A Sidney Award winner and proud graduate of Woodland Hills, Elk lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

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