Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Sidney's Picks: Walmart's Spies, Black Friday, and the Fort Knox of Food

Photo credit:, Creative Commons.

Sidney’s Picks: The Best of the Week’s News

Sidney's Picks: Trump, Xenophobia, and Outlaw Gold

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Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

Sidney's Picks: Struggle, Captivity, and Mutiny

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Gwendolyn Tee, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

New York Times wins November Sidney for Exposing Rigged Arbitration System

Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery and Robert Gebeloff of the New York Times win the November Sidney for “Beware the Fine Print,” a sweeping exposé of the private arbitration system.

In the last few years, it has become difficult to rent a car, sign up for cellphone service, or accept a job without signing away your right to your day in court. In the wake of two far-reaching Supreme Court decisions in 2011 and 2013, corporations can force consumers to waive their right to sue as a condition of doing business. Companies can also make consumers renounce their right to join a class action lawsuit. Class actions have historically been a critical means for ordinary people to challenge systematic wrongdoing by corporations, from fradulent billing practices to wage theft and discrimination. 

Learn more about the Times’ remarkable piece of journalism in our Backstory interview with Robert Gebeloff. 


Call for Entries Now Open: 2016 Hillman Prizes

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is now accepting entries for the 2016 Hillman Prizes which honor investigative journalism and commentary in the public interest.

Winners exemplify resourcefulness and courage in reporting, skilled storytelling, social impact and relevance to the ideals of Sidney Hillman.

The received-by deadline for all submissions will be January 30, 2016. 

Click here for more details. 



Sidney's Picks: Obama Nixes Keystone, Exxon in the Crosshairs

Photo credit: 

Susan Melkisethian, Creative Commons. 

The Best of the Week’s News

#Spooky’s Picks: Big Philanthropy, Witchcraft, and Payday Lenders

Photo credit: 

Mike Licht. 

Happy Halloween! 

Help us get to 2000 twitter followers in 24 hours and we’ll change our handle to #ZombieHillman. Follow here.

Sidney’s Picks: A Death at Amazon, #BlackLivesMatter

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Monday’s panel on #BlackLivesMatter and the #FightForFifteen, co-sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

The Best of the Week’s News

New Labor Forum: Black Lives Matter/Fight for Fifteen

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Left to right: Kendall Fells, Frances Fox Piven, Jelani Cobb, Alicia Garza. By Lindsay Beyerstein. 

Black Lives Matter and the Fight for Fifteen are two of the most dynamic social movements in the United States today. These were the subject of Monday’s New Labor Forum, sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation. 

Scholar and activist Frances Fox Piven introduced the panel, which was moderated by Hillman Judge Jelani Cobb.

Kendall Fells of Fast Food Forward/SEIU described the genesis of the Fight for Fifteen movement. Fast food workers were desperate, he said, because they had no consistency in their scheduling and no respect at work. One woman was fired for drinking water out of the wrong-sized cup, another for eating a single chicken nugget. At first, a $15 minimum wage for the fast food sector seemed like an unattainable goal, Fells said. Today, a $15 wage is a reality for many fast food workers in New York, California, and other states. 

Alicia Garza is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and the executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. She described how veterans of the Fight For 15 in Ferguson applied their newfound leadership skills to the struggle for civil rights and police accountability in Ferguson. 

The panelists agreed that poor communities are both underpaid and overpoliced, and their residents are more likely to be Black and Latino. These are the threads that tie Black Lives Matter and the Fight for Fifteen together. Fells pointed out that the same workers who were striking for respect at their fast food jobs were also getting harrassed by the police on their way to work. 

Sidney’s Picks: Bernie and the Drug Baron; Wage Theft in the Big Apple

Photo credit: 

Randy Bayne, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News