Coverage of the Fight for Fair Wages

By Kelsea Graham

April 14 was Equal Pay Day: A day symbolic of how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average man did the year before. Today, a day later, workers are rallying across the United States to raise the minimum wage to $15. The fight for fair wages seems to be creating controversy on its trending hashtag on Twitter. The result? Thorough coverage by a myriad of both local and national publications.

Fortune published a few comprehensive charts on who makes minimum wage, finding 42 percent of U.S. workers make less than that. To no surprise, the service industry dominates this category. Some turned to Twitter to argue that service workers deserve less than. Others justified the movement.

Mixed opinions on social media are not enough to provide the whole story and truly inform the public of the issue. That’s where news organizations come into play.

Huffington Post‘s Philip Jennings published an article on why he thinks this fight for a higher minimum wage should matter to all of us. Here is a good paragraph that sums up his tone and overall message:

The Fight for 15 rallies to be held on April 15 across America and around the world are not only the culmination of this collective worker-led struggle, they are also the breeding ground for a new generation of trade unionists who will accept nothing less than a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work.

ABC News came out with an article stating the Big Mac would only cost 68 cents more if the minimum wage were doubled. Even The Guardian has live updates covering individual demonstrations across America.

Twitter users continue to share articles pertaining to information and coverage of the event. Is the news coverage on this movement is fair? From what you’ve seen, do you think both arguments have been represented?

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5 responses to “Coverage of the Fight for Fair Wages

  1. I think this is an issue similar to the type we discussed in class today: depending on who you associate with on social media, that’s the information you’re going to get on the subject. Unless you actively seek out information yourself, you’re not going to get both sides of the story. Conservatives will tell you one thing, liberals another, successful and affluent another, minimum wage workers another, the list goes on.

    • Well said, Molly. What coverage have you seen so far of the Fight for Fifteen rallies? I personally think the Guardian is doing a really good job with live updates–they seem to be reporting unbiased for the most part on the issue.

  2. I feel really out of the loop on this—I haven’t seen any coverage at all for Fight for Fifteen. I agree with Molly, though, it completely depends on who you follow and what publications you read. Even with established news organizations, you might get a biased view. In order to fix this, you just have to read a lot, especially if you’re researching a certain topic.

  3. I definitely agree with Molly and Beth – because of social media, before reading this post I hadn’t really gotten any information on this topic that is actually unbiased. So many people are sharing things on Facebook and Twitter, but they only share things that agree or support their personal opinions.

  4. I am such a victim of the coverage. Like you guys have said, my feed leaned heavily toward one side, so I tended to believe its stand. It wasn’t until several of my FB friends (who likely have views different than mine) posted this article: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/fast-food-workers-you-dont-deserve-15-an-hour-to-flip-burgers-and-thats-ok/ that I reconsidered. The title itself intrigued me. After reading it, my opinion on the matter has definitely balanced out. Crazy how such a filter on my news sources can cause that.

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