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DM 2014: General secretary outlines NUJ's independent future

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet  -  © Mark Dimmock

11 April 2014

There are real opportunities for the NUJ to build the union and ensure it will still be an independent organisation fighting for journalists and journalism in the future Michelle Stanistreet, general secreatry,  told delegates to the annual conference in Eastbourne. She said:

“There are big chunks of the traditional industry where we have poor membership or opportunities for infill recruitment. There are new and emerging opportunities – which we’re starting to seize on but need to do better – in the rapidly expanding digital arena.

"The recent Labour Force survey suggests there could be as many as 70,000 journalists working in the industry in the UK. Do the maths and there are 40,000 reasons to be cheerful about where our future could be headed if we all work together to secure it.” 

The past two years had been a challenging time for the union, and for its staff and officials the general secretary recalled.

“One of the best tonics there is as general secretary of this union, is getting out to chapels and branches and spending time with NUJ members. It never fails to remind me why I do this job and I know many other officials feel the same. NUJ members are an inspiring bunch – standing with Newsquest members in Darlington on their picket line recently and walking around the town centre handing out leaflets and talking to passers by about why transplanting their local newspaper’s production to another country was such a daft idea, I couldn’t have been prouder of that chapel, and their colleagues in Bradford and York taking action together that day.
Seeing our members in Al Jazeera and other workplace come out in force the very next day for a demo outside the Egyptian embassy to protest against the jailing of journalists showed the NUJ at its campaigning best.”

Tags: , dm2014, eastbourne, conference, general secretary, nuj democracy