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NUJ to hold major industrial summit

26 February 2015

NUJ reps from newspaper and news agency workplaces are being invited to a major industrial summit as part of a "one-NUJ" approach to organising chapels and journalists.

The summit is being called in response to the fundamental changes facing newspaper journalism. It will take place in Birmingham on Saturday 25 April, 10.30-16.00, at Unite's office, Transport House, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1AY. 

In the past decade more than 5,000 journalist jobs have gone and 150 titles have closed. Digital newsrooms are transforming the way journalists are expected to work. Despite taking on these changes, journalists have not seen their pay improve and are experiencing heavy workloads because they are expected to bring in stories, cover events, produce videos and podcasts and use social media.

Picture desk employees and staff photographers are being cut across the board and production is being moved away from the local paper to subbing hubs many miles away.

Activists and the union's organisers will discuss these developments, which affect all the major regional publishers, and will review the most effective ways to strengthen journalists and journalism during this period of rapid evolution.

The "One NUJ: building newspaper chapels" day will cover topics such as dealing with the digital transformation, stress, workloads and pay.

The NUJ's newspapers and agencies sector council (NAIC), which is hosting the day, includes sector and geographic union representatives from London-based national titles, news agencies and the major regional publishers.

Speakers from the NUJ's group chapels in the major regional publishing companies and national newspapers will describe the pressures they are encountering and lead discussions on strategies to deal with these challenges.

The summit will also discuss the NUJ's Local News Matters campaign, which supports branches and chapels mounting campaigns in their local areas when journalists' jobs and newspaper titles are under threat.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"The regional publishing groups appear to be starting to realise the benefits of single, national arrangements with the NUJ. We're keen to make sure that our chapels and reps are more than equal to both national and local challenges.
"This will be a day when reps can share their experience, recognise successes and how these can strengthen chapels, and look at how strategies adopted in one workplace can be applied to others."

Adam Christie, NAIC chair and NUJ joint president, said:

"While individual chapels learn valuable lessons about how to respond to the numerous challenges facing NUJ member journalists every day, we need to do more to share that ever-expanding knowledge and experience. This is an opportunity to do this – and to learn how we can build on our successes."

Speakers will include group and local chapel activists talking about their experiences followed by time to consider how such lessons can be used more widely, as well as reps from the London-based nationals.

Representatives from all groups are welcome.

Opening remarks will come from Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary, with contributions from union officials servicing the sector across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Attendance is free and lunch will be provided. Please reserve your place by e-mailing (please mention any special needs or dietary requirements). Travel expenses will be covered – but please buy railway tickets as soon as you can to take advantage of cheaper fares. If you need tickets buying for you, please also contact

Tags: , local newspapers, national newspapers, reps, summit, birmingham, workload, cuts, stress, bullying, newspapers, chapels, group chapel, closure, pay and conditions, news agencies