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Workday Minnesota labor news website expands focus as Workday Magazine

Old and new Workday logos
Above: Old and new Workday logos

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 25, 2023

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — When the Workday Minnesota website launched in 2000 with the support of Minnesota unions, workdayminnesota.org became one the first-ever online news sources focused on labor news.

What became an award-winning labor news website, produced by the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota, in October 2022 expanded its focus and relaunched with a new look and a new name: Workday Magazine.

The new site can be found online at workdaymagazine.org — but if you type workdayminnesota.org into your web browser out of habit, you will be redirected to the new site.

“We’re very much still a Minnesota-based organization,” assured Sarah Lazare, who became Workday Magazine’s new editor last October. “Two of our three staff are based in Minnesota.”

Lazare works remotely, from her home in Chicago, while senior associate editor Isabela Escalona and associate editor Amie Stager work out of the Labor Education Service offices at the U of M in Minneapolis.

Lazare came to the Workday Magazine editor’s job from Chicago-based In These Times, an independent monthly magazine where she worked five years as a web editor and reporter. Her experience includes 10 years working full-time in journalism, including at independent media centers.

“I learned a lot about how to do labor reporting and labor editing,” she said.

With a renewed wave of labor organizing nationwide, ‘there’s a resurgence of labor journalism,” Lazare noted, “but a lot of the journalists are focused on the coasts.”

“There’s a need to have more solid coverage in the midwest,” Lazare said. In her vision for the new Workday, “it felt like an opportunity to have a contribution from the midwest to this resurgence of labor journalism.”

So far, Lazare said, reaction to the new Workday Magazine has been positive. “There have been stories that have had a positive impact,” she said, and Workday Magazine is starting to get a national audience for Minnesota-based stories.|

“We always want more feedback and input,” Lazare added.

The new Workday also is publishing stories jointly with partners including In These Times and The American Prospect, an online and print magazine based in Washington, D.C.

When Workday Minnesota launched in 2000 the state’s three labor newspapers — Minneapolis Labor Review, St. Paul Union Advocate, Duluth Labor World — all were publishing about twice a month. Since then, the Labor Review and Union Advocate have cut back to 10 issues per year.

As originally conceived, the Workday Minnesota website sought to provide more timely — even daily — updates about Minnesota labor news.

Workday Minnesota launched in 2000 with Barb Kucera as editor, coming from 14 years in the editor’s job at the St. Paul Union Advocate.

“The nice thing about the net is that I can take photos and write a story about a labor event and I can post it up on our web page immediately and people can see it anywhere they have access to the internet,” Kucera said in a February 14, 2001 story in the Labor Review.

Kucera left Workday Minnesota in 2017 and was replaced by Filiberto Nolasco Gomez as editor, who left in 2022.

“I’ve long been a fan of the Labor Education Service,” new Workday editor Lazare said, including how LES views union organizing in relation to broader movements for social and economic justice.

“I’m really excited about Workday Magazine being a place where you can dive in deep and shine a light or expose injustice,” Lazare said. “The ultimate gold standard is making an impact and making the exploiters feel the heat.”

A recent visit to the Workday Magazine website found stories about rail safety, worker safety in a food processing plant, Amazon warehouse worker organizing, Starbucks worker organizing and strikes by teachers and nurses. Three of the eight stories featured on the home page were Minnesota-based stories.

“I want to be really sure people know we’re still dedicated to Minnesota,” Lazare said. “We’re adding, not subtracting.”

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