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NUJ responds to Scottish referendum white paper

27 November 2013

The Scottish Nationalist Party launched its White paper on independence, which could lead to the creation of a separate nation by 2016. The NUJ has agreed to lobby political parties for a Scottish media commission to be created after the referendum, regardless of the outcome.

The union's national executive council endorsed a motion from the Scottish executive council to the union's policy making forum, the Delegate Meeting, which called for the principle of maintaining the BBC as an "impartial, non-political, public service broadcaster, funded from the licence fee" and for trade union reps to sit on the governing body.

The NUJ has no political preference or allegiance in the referendum debate.

Peter Murray, author of the report The NUJ and the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, said:

"The referendum debate provides the NUJ with a unique opportunity to raise concerns over ownership, regulation diversity, job and working conditions across the press, new media and broadcasting."

Scotland's creative sector accounted for about 60,000 jobs in 2006, with a turnover of £5.1bn. It consists of 13 distinct industries – from architecture and advertising to computer gaming and software, radio and TV.

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser said:

"The Scottish government's White paper contains a raft of information that could have an impact on NUJ members, particularly in Scotland. The issue of broadcasting and the future of BBC Scotland and STV is something that we need to develop a measured response to.
"As well as this, members should be aware of proposals which will have a major influence on future trade union activities and industrial relations, including tribunals. In line with the policy paper agreed by the SEC and NEC covering the Independence referendum the NUJ Scottish office staff will work with branches and chapels to develop our position and engage with the Scottish government and all bodies affected by the proposals."

Tags: , scottish referendum, bbc, broadcasting, radio, television, jobs, media commission, government scotland