The work of more than 100 NYSUT locals was celebrated at this year’s NYSUT Journalism Conference at the union’s Latham headquarters over the weekend.
This year’s Best of the Best Award went to VC Echoes of the Valley Central Teachers’ Association. Solidarity Awards went to Between Assignments of the Beacon Teachers Association and The Educator of the Arlington Teachers’ Association.
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira noted the importance for locals to tell their stories and to share their messages to answer the attacks against public workers in the mainstream media.
“The contributions you make as labor journalists to our union and to our professions are vital during these challenging times,” Neira said. “You have the power of the pen … or laptop and keyboard!”
“Solidarity has not been more critical than it is now,” she added, noting that naysayers are counting on unions becoming “a divided house.”
Neira said local unions are the ones delivering the personal stories. She encouraged the local union newsletter editors to use Facebook, Twitter and NYSUT’s Member Action Center “to show the world” what educators do.
The third annual conference featured workshops on headline writing, page design, photography, social media and more. Also, participants raised $200 for NYSUT’s Disaster Relief Fund, which provides direct support to members in need.
Samantha Falk, editor for the Arlington TA newsletter, said the information and networking available through the conference would help local labor journalists improve their newsletters and websites.
“Thank you for giving us the chance to meet with professional journalists,” Falk said.
—Betsy Sandberg and Liza Frenette