New York Times Voices Support for Payday’s Fight to Protect Survivors Names


Yesterday, Semafor’s Ben Smith broke the story that I’m fighting a subpoena attempt to turn over the names of sexual misconduct survivors. Additionally, I am being asked to turn over all my communications with the New York Times from when I broke the story of Michael Fuoco, a top NewsGuild leader, who was labeled “the Harvey Weinstein of Pittsburgh.” 

Now, the New York Times has weighed in denouncing the move by the NewsGuild.

“We are always troubled when litigants use discovery to seek communications between sources and journalists, and it is especially concerning coming from a union that represents journalists,” Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha told Semafor.

(Read the full Semafor story on the subpoena attempt that Payday Report faces.)

We have always raised $1,200 for our legal defense fund.

While I have found a great civil liberties lawyer, Louis Kroeck, to represent me pro bono, I still have to pay legal fees and hire a court reporter to take depositions. The cost of the court report will likely run from $3,000-$5,000. 

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]