It’s a shocker. The PCC has got it wrong. Again. The problem with such failings by the PCC is that it gives ammunition to those who want to introduce statutory controls. The NUJ stands firmly in favour of self-regulation – but in the public interest not in the interest of newspaper proprietors. The PCC needs drastic reform (like with the Labour Party there are those who argue it is no longer capable of reform) and as long as it is incapable of imposing meaningful sanctions it will remain toothless in the face of the commercial interests of media companies.
But the biggest news today is not that but the victory of union members at the Financial Times over the threat to force a group of specialist Chinese journalists to return to China and take a pay cut. The move has been withdrawn after members at the company voted to ballot for industrial action.
Inspiring. The launch of Expose the BNP last night was also inspiring. Journalists, media workers, students came together to hear Peter Hain MP, NUJ Deputy General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet and others set out the need for journalists to be vigilant and forensic in exposing the racist nature of the neo-Nazi BNP in the run up to the election. The meeting welcomed the launch of the NUJ’s new website reportingthebnp.org
I also attended part of the new London Photographers Branch last night to discuss the Digital Economy Bill and its impact on photographers in advance of a meeting at the TUC later today on the passage of the Bill.
Earlier in the day I’d spoken at a rally in support of striking workers at the National Gallery involved in a dispute over pay. I rushed there from the TUC Executive where the economy and the budget submission were the main items on the agenda. I had the chance to raise the disgraceful blackmail of staff at The Independent in advance of its expected sale.