Virginia journalists facing furlough join efforts to help each other

Digital Originals

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Recently two media companies — Gannett Media and Lee Enterprises — announced that its employees would face two week-long furloughs. In an effort to combat the coming weeks without pay, today a joint effort of three journalist guilds that cover Virginia started the “Virginia Is For Journalists Relief Fund”

“This is a joint project of the Tidewater Media Guild, Timesland News Guild and Blue Ridge News Guild (units of the NewsGuild-CWA). But the fund is open to all full- and part-time journalists in the state experiencing coronavirus-related cuts and furloughs. We are raising these funds on behalf of all journalists, not on behalf of our companies or guild members.

Amy Friedenberger – Reporter / The Roanoke Times

The goal of this fund is to help journalists who’ve been either laid-off or are going through a furlough pay bills and cover groceries.

“While we don’t expect to be able to provide all that relief for our friends and colleagues across the state, we do hope it will provide some of that needed funds so that they’re able to help pay the rent, help pay the grocery bill.”

Henri Gendreau – Reporter / The Roanoke Times

The three journalist guilds — representing many journalists in Virginia — organized a Go Fund Me page to raise funds. They initially set out to raise $2,000, but within the first 2 hours, they beat that goal.

“We didn’t know quite what to expect, we had an initial goal of $2,000 and we blew past that in two hours, so last I checked it was at $3,600, we have upped the goal to $5,000.”

Henri Gendreau – Reporter / The Roanoke Times

The funds raise are not for only guild members but for all journalists in the state of Virginia affected by the economic down turn due to COVID-19.

“The fund will go towards all journalists in Virginia who are facing these cuts whether or not if they are apart of a news guild.”

Henri Gendreau – Reporter / The Roanoke Times

For more information on the Virginia Is For Journalists Relief Fund click here, and for journalists in Virginia that would like to apply for this fund, click here.

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