This week on CounterSpin: West Virginia teachers and school staffers, among the lowest paid in the country, won a 5 percent pay raise for all of the state’s public sector workers, after a nine-day walkout over pay and surging healthcare costs. Much coverage, of what there was, was sympathetic; though some reports stuck to corporate media’s old recipe, like the AP piece that said the deal “ended a paralyzing strike that shut students out of classrooms statewide, forced parents to scramble for child care and cast a national spotlight on government dysfunction in West Virginia.” Media will need to shake up their reporting on how workers fight, because it looks like West Virginia won’t be the end of this sort of action.
CounterSpin spoke with veteran labor reporter Mike Elk about the historic West Virginia walkout. He’s senior labor reporter and founder of Payday Report, the South’s first unionized digital co-op. He also writes for the Guardian.
Plus Janine Jackson takes a quick look back at recent press, including coverage of Syria and Russia.