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NUJ Active 20 September 2019


Make your vote count: it is not an exaggeration to say that woman and men died in the struggle to win the vote for working people. There may be a UK general election very soon. If someone is not on the register they cannot vote. Young people and people who move home regularly are the most likely not to be on the register. So check your family, friends and neighbours. It takes less than 5 minutes to register to vote and it might make a lifetime of difference.

Local news matters: quoted in The Telegraph today, NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the new Google and Archant scheme for local newspapers comes at a time when the existing level of investment in quality local journalism is  "at an all-time low". Google and Archant step up efforts to revive local journalism in the UK.

Standing up for journalism: this week it was widely reported the NUJ condemned as "unwarranted and unworthy" an attack on the Belfast News Letter's political editor, Sam McBride, by DUP MP Ian Paisley. The NUJ's assistant general secretary, Seamus Dooley, said: "Paisley has gone beyond the bounds of acceptable political discourse and has engaged in a deeply personal attack which is extremely damaging. His references to McBride’s family background, religion and education were inappropriate." Read the NUJ's press release online.

No Stone Unturned:
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has announced it will show the documentary film No Stone Unturned on RTÉ One on Wednesday 2 October.
RTÉ to broadcast acclaimed Loughinisland Massacre documentary.

Journalism is not a crime: in a report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, UN assistant secretary-general, Andrew Gilmour, highlighted the plight of BBC Persian journalists who face ongoing harassment and persecution by the Iranian authorities. The report acknowledges that NUJ members working for the BBC have been "branded as 'anti-Iranian' and that some had been followed, questioned and received threats against family members". The UN's General Assembly has called upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to end reprisals against individuals who have cooperated with the UN. Read about the union's ongoing campaign via the NUJ website.  

Media freedom: an average of one journalist died every four days during 2008-2018 due to their work, according to UNESCO. Most were not killed while reporting on war, but deliberately targeted. Their deaths overwhelmingly go unpunished. In its report on global media freedom, the UK parliament's foreign affairs committee said good journalism is an essential pillar of democracy. The NUJ and IFJ submitted joint written evidence to the committee's inquiry, the union's general secretary appeared in front of MPs to give evidence and the final report has now been published. It lists a series of recommendations and references the NUJ extensively. You can access the report online via the parliamentary website.

Global ethics: the IFJ has updated its global charter of ethics. It was first adopted in 1954 by the IFJ's world congress, amended in 1986 and updated this year in June. The charter is based on major texts of international law and defines journalists’ duties and rights. Download the IFJ global ethics charter for journalists


Telling our own stories - people of colour in Scotland’s media: when the media fails to properly reflect society, it distorts which stories are told, how they are told and who gets to tell them. People of colour are massively unrepresented among Scotland’s professional journalists. Across the UK, those producing our media are 94 per cent white, compared to just 87 per cent of the wider population. It’s time for change. On 27 September in Glasgow this event will provide a space for people of colour who work in, or have an interest in, the media - to come together, learn, share and build networks. It’s the beginning of a conversation about the lack of representation in Scotland’s media and what we can do about it together. Access the programme for the day and book your place via the NUJ website

Calling freelances in Wales: back by popular demand, the NUJ is working with NUJ Training Wales to bring the fourth annual Freelance Salon to Cardiff on 12 October. Once again, the event will offer freelance journalists the chance to get together and network with potential work commissioners. The theme this year is specialise or diversify, and speakers include Welsh freelance writer and broadcaster Carolyn Hitt, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Shirish Kulkarni, Sian Collyer of the BBC, and seasoned freelancer Louise Bolotin, who is renowned for her pitch and deal workshops. The event is filling up fast, book your place online today.

Liberalism Inc. - 200 years of the Guardian: in May 2021, the Guardian turns 200. From its inception in Manchester in 1821 as a response to the murder of ordinary people by soldiers in the 1819 Peterloo Massacre to its historic identification with centre-left politics, the Guardian has long been a key institution in the definition and development of liberalism. Its forthcoming anniversary provides an opportunity for academics, researchers, historians and journalists to assess the contribution of the Guardian to British politics, society and culture through a major conference organised at Goldsmiths College. The call for papers deadline is Monday 30 September. To find out more about this event and how to submit an abstract paper or panel proposal, visit the ECREA website.

Investigative journalism:
the Centre for Investigative Journalism, in association with the Civic Journalism Lab at Newcastle University, will be holding a one-day conference at Newcastle University on Saturday 9 November. The #CIJNewcastle will feature talks from investigative journalists and offers hands-on training. For more information visit the CIJ website.

Innovations In Organising Conference: on Saturday 2 November, the Critical Labour Studies network is bringing together academics, trade union/community activists and organisers to discuss new ideas and tactics, emerging theories and their practical application for struggles for equality, democracy and sustainability. In a period of continued political instability, at a time when poverty is growing, we need to find effective ways to rebuild working class power. Find out more about the event online.

Tackling disparities: with inequality currently raging, reducing the appalling disparity between the rich and poor is arguably one of the most critical issues humankind must tackle. The Real Aid Campaign has teamed up with the IFJ to co-present a documentary film called Disparity. NUJ chapels and branches are encouraged to host screenings of the film during a 24-hour world premiere across all time zones from 17 October which is the international day for the eradication of poverty. The film exposes the reality behind the $150bn foreign aid industry. The film will be available for free viewing and sharing, initially in 6 languages on the Tiger Tim media YouTube channel. At the same time the IFJ will launch a online development portal. By sharing empirical data, story leads, case studies and more on one portal, journalists can play a key role in helping to build a more convincing case and a stronger call for aid policy reform. The IFJ are part of this campaign to encourage more investigations, more scrutiny and more social justice. Watch the film trailer and find out more via the IFJ website.


Building your confidence: this workshop in London on Monday 11 November will help increase confidence when dealing with tricky situations at work. Learning the best way to approach a conversation about pay or work can determine whether the outcome is successful. Find out more and book a place online.

Welfare officer training: the trustees of NUJ Extra, the union's charity for members who have fallen on hard times, is providing a free workshop in London for NUJ welfare officers or would-be welfare officers on Friday 27 September. Find out more and book your place on the NUJ website.

Combatting the far right: there are two fully funded, one day courses for trade union activists on offer from the TUC in Yorkshire, designed to help tackle far right issues in workplaces and communities. The events takes place in Leeds on Friday 20 September and Sheffield on Friday 18 October. Priority will be given to young activists and applicants falling under one of the protected characteristics. All trade union members are welcome to apply. The TUC is also offering an optional study trip to Berlin for a series of workshops with the DGB (German TUC) youth section on how they have responded to the rise of the AfD and the far right in Germany. For more information visit the TUC website.  

Industrial relations: the annual TUC London, East and South East and ACAS conference for trade union reps and activists takes place on Friday 1 November in London. It's free to attend. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is a non-departmental public body and its purpose is to improve organisations and working life through the promotion and facilitation of strong industrial relations practice. Find out more information via the TUC website.


The Journalist: final reminder the deadline for applications for the editor of the NUJ magazine close at midday on Monday 23 September. More information about the role is available online. The back catalogue of The Journalist magazine is also available on the NUJ website.
The Irish Journalist: is edited on a volunteer basis by Carolyn Farrar with Brendan Carroll as production editor. Archive copies are also available one the NUJ website.

NUJ Informed: is another regular union publication and focuses on union activities, archive copies are available on the NUJ website and it can be printed out to use as a recruitment tool to be handed out in workplaces, at public or union events.


Calling Irish members: the Trinity College Dublin Transparency in Politics Research Team, supported by the Irish Research Council, invites NUJ members to complete a survey on the scope and use of online government portals by professional journalists in Ireland. Government portals are data portals or access points which provide the public with information about the state and its performance for example: 1) 2) procedure to file FOI requests 3) 4) SIPOC register of political donations. If you are a professional journalist (or worked as one in the past) please complete the survey. The researchers want to encourage journalists who do and do not use these portals to participate. The survey takes about 8 minutes and is available online. Any queries or problems please email: Michele Crepaz

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