When media workers go on strike, they know how to get the word out. Village Voice employees are threatening a strike this week because of diminishing salaries and cuts to staff. But here’s an interesting twist! The staff is threatening to stop working for the Voice, as you’d normally expect in a strike, but they’re not going to stop working. The plan is to keep publishing–but on Tumblr, where Village Voice Media can’t sell ads against it:
In the event of a work stoppage, writers, bloggers, photographers, editors, designers, and sales staff—as well as former Voice staff members and other supporters—will be publishing an alternate website, TheRealVoice.org, where readers will find the same high-quality writing there that they currently enjoy in the paper and on Voice blogs.
The initial post already has dozens of likes and reblogs. Tumblr’s built-in virality could be a huge asset for the union, as the Voice’s readers stay informed about the issue and stop visiting the official website. Tumblr is popular as a brand-builder and traffic driver for media, but it also supports the local news blog network Neighborhoodr, which sells ads on its Tumblr-powered site. Maybe the Voice staffers should try to woo some of the paper’s advertisers–that would put pressure on talks real quick.
Betabeat queried the Voice about its Tumblr-powered protest, curious as to how many followers the nascent blog has accrued. We’ll update when they get back to us.
UPDATE: Graham Rayman, speaking on behalf of Voice employees, demurred at releasing the follower count. “We just put up the Tumblr yesterday, and the numbers are growing,” he said in an email. A strike looks possible, as “negotiations continue later this afternoon. At this moment, the two sides are still pretty far apart.”