Monday, November 16, 2009

The Journalist - the end of one era, the start of another

Big congratulations to Christine Buckley who has been elected the new editor of The Journalist. She led from start to finish in the eight-person contest, winning by almost 1000 votes.

I've known Christine as an industrial correspondent for many years, covering TUC conference and enjoying the odd drink at Glastonbury's sorely-missed Leftfield. She'll be a real asset to the union and I'm excited about working with her to oversee the integration of our communications.

I've kept as quiet as possible during the campaign about the relative merits of candidates but I am angry at the way Richard Simcox was attacked and the union's reputation rubbished by Mark Watts. Richard didn't deserve that.

It's also a sad day for the NUJ - Tim Gopsill, editor for the past 21 years leaves today and I wish him well and hope he enjoys the retirement he deserves. I have said in the annual report that Tim wrote the union's history but he deserves a place in it himself. We've not always seen eye-to-eye - it's I suppose inevitable that the General Secretary and editor of the union's journal will not always agree - and for others it's probably a good thing, but I respect greatly the work Tim has done, particularly around press freedom issues which he has championed in the union.


Martin Cloake said...

Well said, Jeremy. That needed to come from our Gen Sec.

Fiona O'Cleirigh said...

Mark Watts did not rubbish the union's reputation. He single-handedly tackled what some people believe to be a threat to the union. You may not believe NUJ Left to be a threat yourself, but the accusation of sabotage of the union has no foundation.

Furthermore, there was no personal attack on Richard Simcox. He simply failed to declare that he was part of a political group that has expressly stated that its aims include taking over key union positions. Who knows, maybe they’ll go for yours, Jeremy.

William Goodwin said...

Its not true to suggest that Mark Watts rubbished the union. That sounds to me like a case of shooting the messenger.

The issue Mark highlighted – that a political group within the NUJ is, behind the scenes, trying to place its own candidates in elected positions – is something that NUJ members clearly need to know about.

Mark came in from a lot of very personal flack from members of the NUJ Left, including some very bizarre allegations from its members, for raising this issue.

The focus of Mark’s criticism was always the lack of transparency in the behaviour of the NUJ Left. He certainly hasn’t attacked Richard Simcox, or any other individual on a personal level.

Helen Gavaghan said...

Is there and NUJ right?
Helen Gavaghan