Thursday, December 06, 2007

A night on the town with Gordon Brown....

Today the NUJ launched its new website – like all such changes it’s a work in progress but it’s already a huge improvement on the old site – more resources, fresher design, more interactivity, a better search engine and with many more new functions to come over the next few months. And it’s the home to this blog!

So if you’ve come to my blog for the first time through the site today – welcome. If you’ve been here before you may wish to scroll down and find out what Gordon Brown and I got up to last night while I explain to newcomers the purpose of the blog.

When I launched the blog in September 2007 I wrote its purpose was
“about not only giving members an insight in to the work their union carries out on a day to day basis far away from the headlines, work which improves the lives of journalists every day but also hopefully helping to increase the accountability of myself as the elected General Secretary and the union as a whole to its members".

I don't find time to write every day - but I hope the blog will give you a flavour of what your union does and how it is fighting day in day out for journalists and journalism.

So welcome. Now you too can find out what Gordon and I got up to last night.

I spent last night on the town with Gordon Brown. Ok, It was only at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of Tribune but it’s as close as trade union leaders seem to get to the Government these days.

Gordon has been off in recent days praising the local media for their role in “building communities” at the same time his Ministers have been busy saying no, no and thrice no to any discussion over the impact job cuts and lack of investment are having on the ability of the media to keep providing quality coverage of local issues. Apparently ITV’s axing of local news services and local newspapers axing of hundreds of jobs are apparently not worthy of investigation or even a line in Gordon’s speech. But of course given the Government’s current troubles it’s hardly surprising they won’t stand up for quality journalism – who knows what journalists with the time and resources might uncover.

Prior to that I had meetings with the NUJ Officials’ Chapel about planned changes to the staff pension scheme, filmed an interview for the BBC Glasgow campaign website against the BBC job cuts, met with Bectu to discuss our plans for sharing more resources including the possibility of sharing a single building and gave final sign off to the new web pages and the report of the Commission on Multimedia Working.

The report, Shaping the Future, is the result of several months work and evidence gathering about new media working across the industry. It is a damning indictment of those who try to do integration on the cheap but a ringing endorsement of well-resourced new media operations. It is packed full of practical recommendations.

I wrote an article for the media guardian website and the launch of the report is being covered by Press Gazette and media guardian.


John said...

Yay! Well done to Debbie and all the colleagues who've worked so hard on the new site. It's a big improvement.

Action said...

It would be interesting to know how many journalists are in the regional lobby now. And how many were in it five or ten years ago.
That would demonstrate how the cuts have hit.