The NUJ is here to support journalists at the beginning of their career and we offer a range of assistance.
If you are under the age of 30, you qualify as a young member of the NUJ.
Pay and conditions
The union, negotiates pay, conditions and challenges zero-hour contracts. We have made it a priority to improve the pay of the lowest paid – often new entrants to the industry. Many young people feeling trapped in their jobs, in some cases, not knowing when they will get paid or if they are required to work at all! We believe everyone should have good working conditions, decent wages and fair treatment.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
We work hard to ensure that young members, regardless of gender, ethnic or social backgroung, are afforded the same opportunities as everyone else in the workplace and encourage employers to support those coming into the industry – implementing policies to create opportunities and fair treatment.
The union also works to convince employers of the benefits of a diverse workforce.
One example of the support the union provides to young journalists from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds is the George Viner Memorial Fund.
We have a longstanding campaign to ensure that internships are not treated as free labour, accessible only to those who can afford to work without pay. We campaign regularly on this issue, in some instances we have taken successful legal cases against companies who have not paid the National Minimum Wage to its interns.
We continue to approach organisations to ensure that the programmes they offer are open and accessible to all young people from different backgrounds and socio-economic groups.
With the demise of so many local newspapers, and chronic low staffing on those that remain, the long-standing entry point into journalism has disappeared for many journalists starting out. In its place are a range of different roles that are not necessarily accessible to all young journalists.
PR has become an option for many journalism graduates, while others opt for work online. The NUJ organises in both sectors and is here to help.
Many of these jobs are centralised in cities, particularly London, meaning that the option of starting work while living with your family is no longer an option for many journalists outside urban centres. Rent costs and/or transport costs can mean that even comparatively good starting pay doesn't go very far.
The rise in working from home during the Coronavirus lockdown may improve things, Twitter was one of the first companies to announce in 2020 that the working-from-home option will remain forever.
As a young member, you will also have access to a range of training opportunities from the union.
You can also benefit from our mentoring and skills exchange programmes – we have many experienced journalists who work with young members to develop opportunities as well as skills exchange programmes, for example our Digital Inclusion work. Branches and chapels, if they exist in your workplace, are good places to find more experienced members who can help and support you.
We welcome young members and new ideas. There are many ways you can become more involved and make changes to your own circumstances as well as others with the support to the Union. See our Engage section for more details.