Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Stat Journalists Will Join the Boston Globe’s Union

Journalists at Stat, the medical and science news website lauded for its pandemic coverage, will join the Boston Newspaper Guild, union representatives said in a statement Wednesday.

Stat, based in Boston, focuses on science, health and biotech journalism and has close to 40 editorial staff members. It was one of the first outlets to extensively cover the outbreak of the coronavirus in January 2020 and saw a boost in traffic and revenue in the past year as its ambitious coverage gained attention. Helen Branswell, Stat’s infectious-disease reporter, won the 2020 George Polk public service award for her work covering the pandemic.

Damian Garde, a biotech reporter for Stat, said in an interview that workers hoped union protections would help make Stat an even more attractive and competitive employer.

“When people look at the Stat trajectory, they point to my colleague Helen Branswell’s very prescient coverage ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic really becoming what it would become,” he said. “And I think one of the lessons there is: If you invest in people like Helen Branswell, you, too, can have prescient coverage.”

Stat, which was started in 2015 by the Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry, is produced by Boston Globe Media Partners, the parent company of The Boston Globe, which is owned by Mr. Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry. The two publications have separate staffs.

Scott Steeves, the president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, said in a statement that the addition of Stat workers would mean a stronger voice for the union.

“At a time when independent journalism is so important, Guild members strive to deliver the highest-quality news product possible while also standing together to ensure economic and workplace protections,” he said.

Mr. Garde said the union eligibility of certain Stat employees was still under discussion as part of negotiations between the Boston Newspaper Guild and Globe management. Globe union employees have been without a contract for more than two years as a standoff over a new contract continues.

Globe management did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Boston Newspaper Guild is affiliated with the NewsGuild, which also represents New York Times employees.