Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

#Sidney’s Picks: Supreme Court Legalizes Equal Marriage!

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Bill Ward’s Brickpile, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News (And There’s LOTS of Good News)

What the Uber Decision Means for the Future of Work

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Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons.

Does a recent California labor ruling spell the death of the 1099 economy? Laura Bliss investigates for CityLab. 

Sidney’s Picks: Mourning and Organizing After Charleston

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“Grief,” by Alex, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

Sucks to Be You, Uber: Driver Deemed Employee in California

Uber’s worst nightmare has come true:

In what could be an explosive decision, the California Labor Commission has found that a driver for Uber in San Francisco is an employee of the company. That’s from a ruling filed in state court on Tuesday and first reported by Reuters. It’s pretty damning. “Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation,” the commission writes. “The reality, however, is that Defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation.” [Slate]

So far, the ruling only applies to one driver from San Francisco, but the precedent could be far-reaching. Uber plans to appeal.

Sidney’s Picks: Baja Farmworkers May Win Big--With a Little Help from a Sidney-winner

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Wikipedia, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • A factory worker who lost both hands making flatscreen TVs tells her story.

Maslin Nir Wins June Sidney for Exposing Rampant Abuse of NYC Manicurists

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Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons.

Sarah Maslin Nir has won the June Sidney Award for exposing rampant abuses in the nail salon industry in New York City. The 13-month investigation included interiews with well over a hundred nail workers from around the city. Only one in four reported being paid minimum wage. Some earned day rates of just $10, and trainee manicurists not only didn’t get paid, they had to pay their bosses to learn the trade. 

Read more about the winning series and its impact in The Backstory

Rana Plaza Survivors Will Get Full Compensation

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Survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the deadliest industrial accident in history, will be fully compensated, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Clean Clothes Campaign and its allies. A fundraising breakthrough from an anonymous donor has pushed the Rana Plaza Donor’s trust to its $30 million goal:

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is delighted to announce a major campaign victory with the confirmation that the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund has finally met its target of $30 million, following a large anonymous donation.

The CCC has been campaigning since the disaster in April 2013 to demand that brands and retailers provided compensation to its victims.

Since then over one million consumers from across Europe and around the world have joined actions against many of the major high street companies whose products were being made in one of the five factories housed in the structurally compromised building. These actions forced many brands to finally pay donations and by the second anniversary the Fund was still $2.4 million dollars short of its $30million target. A large donation received by the Fund in the last few days has now led to the Fund meeting its target. []


Sidney’s Picks: Solidarity for Gawker

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Gawker Media, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • Nebraska abolished the death penalty, but Gov. Pete Ricketts is threatening to execute the 11 inmates currently on death row.

Two Brothers: One a Guard, One and Inmate

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Satanslaundromat, Creative Commons.

Rosa Goldensohn, the latest winner of Hillman’s award for social justice reporting at CUNY J-school, has a new longform piece in 219 Magazine called, “John and Ken,” it’s the story of twin brothers. One became a prison guard at Rikers’ Island, and the other became an inmate. 

Sidney’s Picks: How Nebraska Abolished its Death Penalty

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The Nebraska Legislative Chamber, by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, Creative Commons.

The best of the week’s news