Colleagues offer support & solidarity to Amy Fenton
29 May 2020
The union's Newsquest group chapel met last night and offered support and solidarity to Amy Fenton and colleagues working for The Mail in Barrow.
The union remains concerned that Amy and the local newspaper are being targeted, there have been calls for businesses in Cumbria to stop advertising with The Mail, and there have been online initiatives organised calling for Amy to be sacked and for The Mail to close.
Fed Bedendo, Newsquest NUJ group chapel MoC, said:
"My colleagues and I are appalled at what has happened to Amy. As local journalists we don't just work in the communities we serve, but we are part of them and care about them. For anyone to think any different is simply foolish. It is unacceptable to issue violent threats to a woman and her family, under the pretext of raising awareness of alleged violence against another woman. No journalist deserves to be put through what Amy and her little girl are experiencing and we want Amy to know we are all behind her."
Chris Morley, the NUJ's Newsquest coordinator, said:
"Receiving online abuse for professionally reporting the important issues affecting local communities has been commonplace for many years and has unfortunately become something of an occupational hazard for our members.
"But the threats of physical violence against Amy and her daughter have shocked even the most experienced of our members. There is real determination among Amy’s fellow NUJ members that this vicious bullying of workers doing their jobs will not succeed.
"A national meeting of fellow Newsquest union reps last night condemned the actions of the social media mob hounding colleagues in Barrow in the strongest terms and expressed their solidarity and support for Amy and her fellow members.
"The NUJ will always stand up to protect journalism and, particularly its members, when they are subject to threats. The wave of supportive messages from NUJ branches and chapels around the country, along with those being shared by the public on social media shows quality journalism cannot be defeated."