Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy new year?

Happy new year to you all - I'd wish you happiness and prosperity but with high street stores closing at an alarming rate and media companies rushing to axe yet more jobs it appears it could be a rocky 12 months for all those of us. Still it was nice to see former Johnston Press boss Tim Bowdler driving off in his flash car and admitting to mistakes in an ">article in the Sunday Times - at least he'll be alright even if loads of his journalists face a miserable year having been sacked or facing redundancy.

It's also been a miserable start to the year in Gaza - I joined protests during the holiday season in London against the attacks and spoke out against the Israeli ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza at the massive demonstration in London last Saturday. I'll be attending this Saturday's demo too.

Whilst much around us seems miserable the new year has also heralded a new resistance to the cuts in the media industry. Members at the Northern Echo have taken action, members at York have voted for action, protests are planned in Leeds and we've had a flood of people registering for the union's Jobs Summit as we co-ordinate our campaigns against the cuts.

We also received the welcome news of Colin Freeman's release. Our Deputy General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet had been liaising with the Somali journalists union who provided some excellent information and with Telegraph management over the kidnap. We shouldn't forget the Somali journalists who such dangers day in and day out.

Today I've also met with pensions campaigners, had a meeting with Jim Boumelha, President of the International Federation of Journalists covering issues in Somalia, Zimbabwe, our work with members in news agencies in Europe, protection of sources, impunity and a range of other issues.

I also met with photographers pursuing an FOI claim for information about police surveillance of journalists and decided on the next steps in their cases.

I've also been liaising with chapel reps at newspapers in Northern Ireland where attempts to centralise production and cut wages are being resisted.

All in all it's back to business as usual! It's like we've never been away...

1 comment:

Adrian Monck said...

Cheap shot at TB.