The “Free Press” of Unionized Journalists and Students: An alternative journalistic collaboration

Errol Salamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper outlines a history of the union organizing of the American Newspaper Guild at Thomson Newspapers’ Peterborough Examiner in Canada from 1968 to 1969. It examines the communication tools that union members used to facilitate this labor organizing and “bite back” at the profitable Thomson chain. Peterborough newsworkers went on strike from November 1968 to April 1969 over union recognition. During the strike, the union members built an unprecedented alliance with Ontario university students, collaboratively launching a strike newspaper called the Peterborough Free Press. Expanding on the concept of temporary labor convergence, this paper considers how strike newspapers can be seen as a form of alternative journalism that newsworkers use as a campaigning tool to communicate their struggles to the public and put pressure on news corporations to bargain with them. This case study is situated in the local institutional contexts of labor relations at the Peterborough Examiner and the news industry in Peterborough, where Thomson Newspapers had a media monopoly. It is based on labor standpoint and signal juncture analyses of union archival documents and newspaper content. The research ultimately suggests that newsworkers should not only focus on communication tools but also build bridges with community members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-584
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number5
Early online date16 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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