Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Media in the spotlight again

The media are once again under the spotlight following the coverage of the recent suicides in Bridgend. I'm doing a public meeting in Swansea tonight under the union's Stand up for Journalism banner - and the issue will undoubtedly come up.

It's clear there has been some sensationalist reporting designed to drive sales.The union has been quick to stress the obligations on journalists to report sensitively and accurately and in line with the union's code of conduct and the material we produced on the issue alongside Mediawise a couple of years ago but it is absolutely right the media are covering the story and carrying out their own investigations.

On Monday I met with the trustees of the Journalists Copyright Fund to consider an application for funding from the Creators Rights Alliance and we supported a major project to launch a creators manifesto on copyright.

I also met with a number of other TUC unions, including the RMT, NAPO, PCS and campign groups to talk about boosting the fight for better employment rights and in defence of public services.

I also spent a few hours going through all the motions to the union's annual conference, ADM, and costing them and writing to branches who hold significant funds in their local accounts seeking their support with some of the costs of organising the conference which amounts to around £200,000 a year.

At the request of the European Federation of Journalists and the Greek affiliates President Michelle Stanistreet and I wrote to BBC Director General Mark Thompson raising concerns about the use of BBC News material on Greek TV during a reent dispute and I also wrote to Graphical Paper and Media section of Unite seeking a meeting to discuss joint recruitment/organising initiatives.

1 comment:

Paul Canning said...

The media is not helping by being knee-jerk in responding to the criticism of its role, as you repeat here. It is not inconceivable that the type and scale of reporting *has encouraged the copycats. Experts keep on warning about this. If the media is claiming that it has a legitimate role to help explain this suicide cluster then it has to look at itself rather than just dismiss evidence it doesn't want to hear. Unless it does it's not working in the public interest and deserves all the criticism it's receiving from parents and police.