Pittsburgh’s People of the Year 2020: Labor | Pittsburgh’s People of the Year | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh’s People of the Year 2020: Labor

Alexis Johnson has been a one-woman labor movement throughout 2020

click to enlarge Pittsburgh journalist Alexis Johnson - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Pittsburgh journalist Alexis Johnson
Alexis Johnson basically became a one-woman labor movement throughout 2020. When her union at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted how the paper banned the local journalist from covering the Black Lives Matter protest movement after she sent out a satirical tweet, Johnson took up the mantle and ran with it. She became a spokesperson for anti-racism within the news media, inspiring her fellow union members, and thousands of others, to join her. But she didn’t quit there. She filed a lawsuit against the Post-Gazette, which could have far-reaching implications in workplace treatment within media companies. If successful, it will solidify the notion that media companies can’t shield themselves with the shoddy defense that the First Amendment protects them from workplace conduct decisions, and that civil rights laws can, and should be applied to working journalists across the country. On top of that, she leveraged a difficult situation at the Post-Gazette into a new national reporter job at Vice News.

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