In this “News Brief” episode of the acclaimed media criticism podcast Citations Needed, hosts Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson speak with TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and TRNN Associate Editor Mel Buer about the crisis in the US freight rail industry and the media campaign to obscure President Biden and Congressional Dems selling out rail workers. This episode was published by Citations Needed on Wednesday, Nov 30; with permission from the show hosts and producers, we are republishing it on the TRNN podcast feed and website for our audience.

Citations Needed production team:
Florence Barrau-Adams, Senior Producer
Julianne Tveten, Producer
Trendel Lightburn, Editor
Grandaddy, Music


The transcript of this story is in progress and will be made available as soon as possible.

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Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Follow: @maximillian_alv

Mel Buer is an associate editor and labor reporter for The Real News Network. Prior to joining TRNN, she worked as a freelance reporter covering Midwest labor struggles, including reporting on the 2021 Kellogg's strike and the 2022 railroad workers struggle. In the past she has reported extensively on Midwest protests and movements during the 2020 uprising and is currently researching and writing a book on radical media for Or Books. Follow her on Twitter or send her a message at

Nima Shirazi is a communications and program strategist; political analyst and media critic; writer and editor; video producer and cohost of the podcast Citations Needed

Adam Johnson hosts the Citations Needed podcast and writes at The Column on Substack. Follow him @adamjohnsonCHI.