Thursday, February 04, 2010

Making the case for public intervention

Back from annual leave to a whirlwind of meetings, travel and 1004 emails.

Spent all day Monday interviewing candidates for the Senior Campaigns and Communications Officer post - and after all that it was so close we've decided to do 2nd interviews later today. In every spare minute I tried to catch up on emails and correspondence. Sorry if I haven't got round to answering yours yet - I will.

Monday night I headed to Brussels to prepare for a conference at the European Parliament on journalism and democracy early Tuesday morning. Made the case for public intervention in support of public service media which provoked a good debate. Most of the MEPs there were broadly in support - the representative of the Media Task Group for the Commission was dogmatically free market and seemed to believe that the market would eventually solve the crisis. What bollocks.

A summary of the arguments I put is in the article I've done for Red Pepper this month.
Back Tuesday evening to race through another pile of emails (down to 400 by now).

Wednesday it was back on a train - this time to Liverpool - to be the guest speaker at Hope College - speaking to lecturers, journalism students and representatives from civil society about the threat to democracy posed by cuts in media organisations. Went down well - and I'm hopeful the college will organise a Stand Up for Journalism week later this year. Quick catch up with NUJ President Pete Murray who filled in for me at a meeting with the Home Office about the threat to journalists posed by Redwatch yesterday.

Today, it's meeting upon meeting starting with our European Federation of Journalists representative John Barsby, followed by the Training Department staff, Policy Committee, NEC member Pierre Vicary, the Journalists Copyright Fund followed by the 2nd interviews for the Campaigns and Communications role.

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