Friday, October 26, 2007


It was great to hear yesterday Gordon Brown announce he was scrapping plans to weaken the UK freedom of information legislation and to restrict journalists' access to coroners' courts.

Even better news is that it looks likely more public bodies may be brought under the remit of the FOI Act. Although inadequate - and more fundamental changes need to be made to open up government - it is a step in the right direction. Now let's see the action match the words. We issued a statement this morning responding to the story.

Yesterday started with a meeting of the Stand Up for Journalism working group followed by the union's Policy Committee, one of three sub-committees of the National Executive. It deals with the NUJ's relations with all outside bodies - the International Federation of Journalists, the TUC and so on and all key areas of union policy. It always has a huge agenda, considering legislation and our lobbying etc.

In the lunch break I recorded a vidcast for PR Week about the Stand up for Journalism Campaign and fired off a letter to government minister Jim Murphy about restrictions on photographers taking cameras on planes.

Following that I and Katy Clark MP and Paul Noon the General Secretary of Prospect met with the new Colombian ambassador to highlight ongoing concerns about the killing of trade unionists and the threats to human rights defenders, including journalists in Colombia.

This morning it was a difficult meeting with the union's Finance Manager - we're spending more than we're bringing in and need to address that situation. I've a weekend of thinking about how we do that in the short-term and long-term.

Next up is Development Committee, one of the other NEC sub-committees which is responsible for overseeing our campaigning, our support to reps, chapels and branches and so on.

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