Insider is latest news site to join unionization wave

By Katie Robertson

Journalists at Insider, the news site formerly called Business Insider, said Monday that they had formed a union, joining a wave that has swept digital media companies.

A majority of more than 300 editorial workers, a group that includes reporters, editors and video journalists, voted in support, union representatives said.

Insider, which changed its name this year, was co-founded by Henry Blodget in 2007 as a business-focused publication with an emphasis on the tech industry. In recent years, it has expanded its areas of coverage.

Axel Springer, a digital publishing company based in Berlin, paid $343 million for a 97% stake in the company in 2015 and bought the remaining 3% in 2018. Blodget stayed on as chief executive. Insider, which has grown during the pandemic, bumped up the minimum annual salary for staff members to $60,000 in February.

The Insider Union is asking the company for voluntary recognition. It is represented by the NewsGuild of New York, which also represents editorial employees at The New York Times and other publications.

“I’ve seen how we’ve moved from the startup energy of a young company into a much larger, much more formal corporation,” said Kim Renfro, an entertainment correspondent who has worked at Insider since 2014. “I see the union as being a natural part of that progress.”

William Antonelli, an editor at Insider, said the union would focus on diversity and inclusion, pay equity, and more transparency on how company executives rate employees.

Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s global editor-in-chief, said in a statement: “The satisfaction, job security and happiness of our journalists is extremely important to us. We will fully respect whatever decision our newsroom ultimately makes.”

The formation of a union at Insider followed organizing efforts at BuzzFeed News, Vice, The New Yorker and Vox Media. Last week, a group of more than 650 tech workers at the Times formed a union.

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