Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hitting the DEC

Picture: (c) Pete Jenkins

And no sooner had Nick Davies suggested we
blow the whistle on employers cuts which damage journalism than we were on the campaign. Let us know how the cuts in your newsroom/company are damaging your ability to deliver quality media – all in total confidence.

The union’s National Executive Council met all day on Friday – discussing the jobs crisis (we gave authority for
industrial action ballots at a record number of workplaces), a new recruitment strategy, the situation facing journalists in Gaza, the future of public service broadcasting and the Digital Britain report, recognition at the New Statesman, BBC pay, copyright and John McDonnell, secretary of the NUJ’s Parliamentary Group may have been banned from Parliament after his mace-wielding antics, but he’s always welcome at the NUJ. He kicked off a debate on media ownership and state aid for the media industry which is to become a major topic for the union over the coming weeks. The NEC backed plans to establish a commission to consider new business models, regulation and ownership rules.
We’ll be inviting people to participate over the next few days.

The NEC also discussed at length the tough financial climate facing the NUJ with the likelihood that membership will be hit by the redundancy crisis. Even with just a 2% year on year membership fall for the next three years the union would have a shortfall of £500,000 per annum by 2012. It means the NEC is having to look hard at how we can save money.

Today has been dominated by the DEC appeal fallout. Along with Bectu General Secretary Gerry Morrissey I have
written to Mark Thompson and wrote a Tribune column on the issue. I’ve also spoken to some senior BBC journalists who are angry and feel betrayed by the decision and believe that the Balen Report – the report on BBC coverage of the conflict which the BBC are fighting to keep under wraps - is at least one driving factor in the decision.

Then I answered 94 emails – and wrote this.

1 comment:

NUJ Left said...

Ownership of the media, who pays for it and who controls it are now central issues for the union, as Jeremy says.

The latest economic crisis has shown in sharp relief that capitalism does not allow the necessary investment in staff and resources to even protect journalism from deterioration, let alone to help it thrive and progress.

To help develop the issues around this, the NUJ Left group has called a public meeting with the working title, 'Media ownership: on whose terms, in whose interests?'

It will be on Tuesday 17 February from 7pm to 9pm at the London Welsh Centre, Gray’s Inn Rd. Speakers tbc.

Check http://www.nujleft.org and the NUJ Left facebook group for updates.