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17 March, 2017

Local News Matters Week

The NUJ Local News Matters week of action kicks off on Friday 24 March and runs until Saturday 1 April. There are events and activities across the UK and Ireland. This campaign aims to celebrate and defend quality journalism and show that local news matters to everyone – and we need your help to make the week a success. There has never been a better time to stand up for local journalism and get active in the NUJ.

Every NUJ member can take part by sending a 140-character message (the size of a Tweet) to say why they care about local news and by taking a selfie with the NUJ Local News Matters logo. Send any messages, comments, pictures or feedback to our campaigns and communications department via email:

If you are planning to take part in the campaign, then don’t forget to tweet us @NUJofficial throughout the week using the hashtag #localnewsmatters.

There will be a Local News Matters debate in parliament on Thursday 30 March from 13.30 until 16.30. Contact your MP and encourage them to attend and speak up for their local journalists and local media. You can use the template letter and briefing available on the website or you can email your MP via the Write to Them website. Let us know if you contact politicians so we can link up your work with the union's parliamentary group.

The union is launching new research about cuts to local news and the impact this has had on democracy on Tuesday 28 March in Parliament. Speakers include the report's author Dr Gordon Ramsay, of King's College London, and Aasma Day, the investigative reporter and lifestyle editor, at the Lancashire Post. More information and full list of speakers is on the NUJ website.

Scotland: the Future of News conference in Edinburgh takes place on Friday 31 March. Speakers include US academic, Robert McChesney, proposer of a Citizenship News Voucher scheme; Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Culture Secretary; Ian Stewart, editor-in-chief at Scotsman Publications; and Paul Wood, managing director of the employee-owned West Highland Free Press. Reserve your place on the Eventbrite website.

The NUJ reps' summit in Manchester on Saturday 1 April, is an opportunity for our reps to discuss the union’s campaign strategy and share knowledge and expertise, network and discuss the issues facing members in the industry. Reserve your place on the NUJ website.

You can also take part in NUJ chapel and branch events during the week of action, all the events are listed on the dedicated web page.     

If you have a chapel in your workplace, join the simultaneous NUJ chapel workplace meetings on Wednesday 29 March.

Bristol: on Friday 24 March you can quiz representatives from organisations such as: BBC Bristol; Bristol Post; Voice Network; ITV West Country; Bristol 24/7; Bristol Cable, plus local MPs and more. More details on the NUJ website.

Sunderland: join author Philippa Gregory, Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, Northern Echo columnist Mike Amos, local NUJ branch members and others to discuss the importance of local news at 12.30 on Friday 24 March at Sunderland Civic Centre. More details on the NUJ website.

Limerick: the Irish South-West branch of the NUJ has organised a day of discussion, learning, ideas sharing, networking and activism at King John’s Castle on Saturday 25 March. There will be a morning session on Negotiating for Success and in the afternoon a panel will discuss The Truth in the News?: the role of quality journalism in the era of fake news. Reserve your place by emailing More details on the NUJ events page.

Glasgow: the Centre for Investigative Journalism training workshop for local/community journalists on Monday March 27 is now fully booked.

Cardiff: Bethan Jenkins AM will host this event to celebrate and raise concerns about the future of news in Wales at the Welsh National Assembly at 18.30 on Tuesday March 28 in Conference rooms 1 and 2, Tŷ Hywel.More details on the NUJ website.

Keep checking the NUJ website for the latest updates on events on the dedicated campaigns page that includes all events, campaign resources and press coverage.

Learn how to publish an ebook

Do you want to get your specialist stories and work out there as an ebook? If so, don’t miss this joint Guild of Health Writers and NUJ workshop with tutor Tim Dawson in London on Monday 27 April. More details and how to book on the NUJ website.


Stand Up To Racism: the TUC is working with Stand up to Racism to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Saturday 18 March. In London, assemble at noon at Portland Place W1A 1AA for a march followed by a rally at Trafalgar Square; In Glasgow, go to Holland Street G2 4NB at 11.00; and in Cardiff assemble at 11.00 at Grange Gardens CF1.

Workers' Memorial Day is on Friday 28 April. Why not make it an item at your next branch meeting? This year's theme is good health and safety for all workers, whoever they are. Lots of information on what you can do on the TUC website.

Reps' and professional training & free workshops

NUJ video for journalism training: increasingly journalists are being asked to shoot professional video footage to accompany reports. This three-day course starting on Monday 15 May will show you how. More details and how to book on the NUJ website.

All dates for reps' training, health & safety training and employment law updates in London, Manchester and Glasgow can be found on the NUJ training page.

NUJ Scotland: whether it is social media, filming for i-devices, feature writing and pitching, writing for the web or Adobe Photoshop introduction, there are plenty of training opportunities listed on the Scottish training website.

NUJ Wales: there are courses on mentoring and coaching, filming and editing on an iPhone/iPad, surviving, thriving as a freelance and strategic communications. See the programme of events on the Welsh training website.

Free workshops: sign on at FEU training and you will be able to take part in the upcoming workshops: Diversify your portfolio; Improve your skills in handling a camera and creating video stories; Runing a successful social media campaign; and Negotiation for freelances. More information on the FEU website.

Survey on insecure work

The TUC is surveying people in jobs which offer them little or no security. This includes people who: rely on an agency to provide them with work; have no guarantee of how many hours’ work they have from one week to the next; are on a zero-hours contracts; have been told by their employer they are self-employed, but still have the hours they work controlled and do not get the minimum wage or sick pay. Responses can be completely anonymous and the findings will help the TUC to campaign for decent jobs for everyone. You can complete the survey here.

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