The NUJ stands for equality of opportunity, within the profession and within the union itself. It has structures to ensure representation for women, black members, disabled members and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender members (LGBT).
The Equality Council
is elected at the Annual Delegate Meeting
and via equality seats on all the union's industrial councils, SEC and IEC. It deals with issues relating to gender, sexual orientation, age, childcare and any equality issue that is not covered by the Black Members Council or the Disabled Members Council. Most of its members are women, but not all. The equality Council campaigns against sexism in the media and improvements in relevant equality legislation.
The Black Members Council
is elected by and from the NUJ's ethnic minority members via an annual Black Members' Conference and Black Member seats on all the union's industrial councils, SEC and IEC. The union monitors the ethnic origin of its membership via the membership application form.
The Disabled Members Council
is elected from among the NUJ's disabled members via the Annual Delegate Meeting and Disabled Member seats on all the union's industrial councils, SEC and IEC.
With the NUJ's concern for the treatment of minorities by the media, these bodies also work with the NUJ Ethics Council
to try to ensure fair coverage of women, gay people, ethnic minorities and other groups that are sometimes harshly reported. This work is in accordance with the NUJ's Code of Conduct.
A journalist produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
In October 2012 NEC member Mike Smith attended the last in a series of events organised by the Council of Europe around the theme of tackling racism in sport: MARS programme– Media against Racism in Sports
This four day encounter was held in Bordeaux attended by journalists, trade union reps and journalism academics from across the Continent of Europe, with the brief of working together on the common theme of finding ways to improve diversity across all of the equality strands. Each participant paired with a colleague from another European nation to produce a piece of work on better inclusion of diversity in the media. Full details of the project are available art www.coe.int/mars
. Summaries of the work (radio, TV, print and multimedia) have now been published. A print article prepared by Mike and a colleague from the Union of Bulgarian Journalists is avaliable here.