Every two years, the NUJ delegate meeting meets to decide on a range of issues including union policies, campaign priorities and changes to the rules. The delegate meeting brings together representatives of NUJ branches, group chapels and councils.

National Executive Council

Between delegate meetings, the National Executive Council (NEC) is responsible for enacting the instructions of the delegate meeting. All but one member of the NEC are elected from the membership every two years and are unpaid.

The union's general secretary also sits on the NEC. The general secretary is an elected, paid union official whose term of office runs for five years.

The union's national officers, the president, vice-president and honorary general treasurer are elected from the membership of the NEC for the two-year period between delegate meetings.

General secretary

Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary
Michelle Stanistreet
  • General Secretary
  • NUJ

Michelle Stanistreet worked as a journalist for 10 years at the Sunday Express newspaper as feature writer and books editor. She was president of the NUJ in 2006 and elected as general secretary of the union in April 2011.

Under her leadership she has championed quality journalism and the role of public interest journalism and public service broadcasting as vital to a democratic society. The union robustly defends freedom of the press, successfully representing Chris Mullin at the Old Bailey when he refused to reveal his sources to the West Midlands Police. She also supported BBC presenter Samira Ahmed during her landmark unequal pay case.

In response to the crisis in local news, lack of media plurality and poor diversity in the newsroom, Michelle published the union’s News Recovery Plan which sets out a range of interventions and policies to re-set the media landscape.

Michelle Stanistreet news:

National officers

The union's national officers, the president, vice-president and honorary general treasurer are elected from the membership of the NEC for the two-year period between delegate meetings.

Natasha Hirst 2018
Natasha Hirst

Natasha Hirst  is a freelance photographer based in Cardiff. Originally from a science background, gaining a PhD in physical chemistry and is a published academic in the physical sciences and later in the social sciences for her research on disability and employment. Natasha became active in the NUS disabled students' campaign while at university and served as NUS Wales president 2003-04. She spent four years as equality officer for the Wales TUC and two years as a political researcher and constituency photographer for the former first minister of Wales. Natasha has been freelance since 2010, specialising in social justice, political and campaigns photography. She has remained a committed trade union and disability activist with a wide range of political and community interests, including serving on the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Wales and as a director for Disability Wales. Natasha is the current chair of Disability Arts Cymru and chaired a working group as part of the Welsh Government Disability Rights Taskforce. She is deaf and neurodivergent and was educated in mainstream schools, learning British Sign Language as an adult. She is the NEC's disabled rep.

She said:

"I am delighted to become the next vice president of the NUJ. It's an honour to work alongside so many excellent activists and to have the opportunity to continue campaigning on issues that are close to my heart: protecting and promoting journalism and journalists' rights and being a strong advocate for increasing diversity across our industry.
"Being an NUJ member meant that I had support around me when life was hard. Becoming an NUJ activist gave me a stronger voice and provided opportunities to make a real difference for myself and others. Our industry has many challenges ahead and I look forward to playing my role as the NUJ continues to fight for a better future for our members."

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Gerry Curran, vice-president
Gerry Curran
  • Vice-president and NEC rep for Republic of Ireland (job share)
  • NUJ

Gerry Curran has acted as an advisor and media liaison for the Courts Service in Ireland, and to five Chief Justices. He is a well-regarded and prominent figure in the media industry having started a career in broadcasting 30 years’ ago. In the past 25 years he has served on local, branch, Irish and NUJ-wide committees in a variety of capacities. He is the NEC's Republic of Ireland rep.

Fran McNulty, NUJ vice president
Fran McNulty
  • Vice-president and NEC rep for Republic of Ireland (job share)
  • NUJ

Fran McNulty is an award-winning journalist and has been an active member of the NUJ for almost 20 years. A television presenter and reporter with Irish National Broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) Fran presents Prime Time, Ireland’s most watched current affairs programme. He has also presented some of Ireland’s biggest radio programmes including Morning Ireland, the News at One and This Week. He has reported from all over the world for RTÉ, from South Africa, to Palestine. He has covered stories as varied as papal conclaves and Westminster politics. As a presenter Fran’s stories focus on social justice issues and the impact of poverty and deprivation in some communities. He is the NEC's Republic of Ireland rep.

John Barsby
John Barsby
  • Honorary general treasurer, NEC rep for East Anglia
  • NUJ

John  Barsby represents East Anglia on the NEC. NUJ Member of Honour, former president and long-serving member of the NEC, John has chaired Finance Committee for several years. He has been the longest-serving chair of the Broadcasting Industrial Council. Much of his work is involved in BBC negotiations and representing members in regional television and local radio. He is the NEC rep for East Anglia.

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