Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising

Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories
By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator,

Major corporate media outlets often reject advertising from labor unions. This means that the same outlets that will not cover labor for free, in many cases will not even sell working people 60 seconds of the public’s airwaves for hard-earned money.

Even people well aware of the media’s failings in covering labor issues have no way of knowing that the media is also censoring union ads. This unfair and unbalanced practice is, of course, not reported on by the media.

Rejecting union ads or any other ads (except political campaign ads) is perfectly legal, and no explanation for the decision to reject a particular ad is required. But ad sales executives are completely open about their motivations. If, they say, an ad from a union will be viewed negatively by a corporation that buys more advertising than the union does, the union ad gets rejected. Thus the collective wealth of working people cannot compete in our “democratic media” against the wealth of corporate owners unless the union spends as much as the corporations

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