Media freedom requires a viable news industry, says NUJ
On the eve of World Press Freedom Day the union has stressed the need for adequate investment and resources for journalism
On the eve of World Press Freedom Day on Sunday 3 May 2020, the NUJ in the UK and Ireland has stressed the need for adequate investment and resources for journalism, as the bedrock required for genuine media freedom.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"There is no real media freedom when journalists are forced out of work or into precarious employment within an industry that has already suffered decades of cuts and under-investment.
"The global health crisis has shown the public desperately needs information that is accurate and reliable. This is why quality journalism falls within the spectrum of essential public services. It must be supported and sustained because society needs it.
"That's why the NUJ has launched the News Recovery Plan, From Health Crisis to Good News, calling for a series of measures to rescue and renew the news industry – to make it viable for the future and to ensure that public interest news can flourish."
Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:
"The challenges faced by the media have intensified and accelerated during the coronavirus crisis. Our industry has been hit by cuts, title closures, compulsory redundancies, extensive furloughing and declining revenues. The lockdown has hit many NUJ members very hard.
"We are reaching out to businesses, governments and others with the collective aim to emerge from this crisis with a media industry that is sustainable and focused on serving the public interest. Media freedom can only genuinely thrive if there is an adequate financial settlement to the current and existential crisis.
"The under investment in editorial resources and the relentless attack on newsroom budgets, especially in the regional media sector, has placed a burden on staff and has contributed to a stressful work environment for many journalists. In seeking state assistance, in the UK and Ireland, we also remind media organisations of their obligations."