Disabled Members’ Council calls for #InclusivePressAccess to the general election campaign

  • 12 Jun 2024

The union is calling on political parties to make their press events and campaign activities accessible to disabled journalists.

In the same week as the general election campaign was launched, the NUJ’s campaign for #InclusivePressAccess for disabled journalists covering political events was enthusiastically endorsed at the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference.

Johny Cassidy, NUJ’s Disabled Members’ Council vice-chair, proposing the NUJ motion, said:

“Since the prime minister’s announcement of the date of the election, we have had statements, press conferences and press events up and down the land from Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and from the LibDems, the Green Party and Reform. And do you know what? No BSL at any of them. If you do want to be able to hold whatever colour of government it is to account, you need disabled journalists in the room.”

The National Union of Journalists calls on political parties to make their press events and campaign activities accessible to disabled journalists.

Political party conferences, campaign launches, and press events provide information that influences voters’ decisions.

Journalists play an important democratic role in scrutinising and reporting on political party manifestos, activities, and announcements, and sharing this information with the public. 

It is vital for disabled journalists to have direct access to political candidates and party events to hold them to account and question their policies. 

Natasha Hirst, NUJ president, said:

“Political parties should already ensure that their events and materials are made accessible to disabled people, including party members. This is an election year where issues impacting disabled people are high on the agenda, including social security and the NHS. 

“Journalists with lived experience of disability play a vital role in analysing and communicating manifesto pledges and countering the dehumanising rhetoric about disabled people that has become all too common recently.”

We also call on publishers and broadcasters to strengthen our calls for inclusive press access and provide opportunities for disabled journalists to report on politics. 

NUJ members can use our template letter and social media graphics to contact local candidates to encourage them to support our call for #InclusivePressAccess


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