Vote to keep the union financially secure, says incoming president Pierre Vicary

  • 21 May 2021

As the union is poised to vote on the union's finances, Pierre wants a union with the same level of services.

Pierre Vicary, the NUJ’s incoming president, says his priority is today’s votes which will determine the future finances of the union.

“I want to be president of a union that provides the high-level services that is does at present,” he said. The union has not had a subscriptions’ rise for seven years.

As a freelance journalist, he is keen to champion self-employed journalists and to encourage chapels to integrate them into their structures and look after their interests. As a former war correspondent, journalist safety is a priority and he works closely on behalf of the NUJ with the International Federation of Journalists.

Pierre was born in London to an English father and Swiss-French mother – hence Pierre. He then lived in Germany, Switzerland and France and was sent to an English boarding school during his teens.

He moved to Australia and after doing some labouring work won a scholarship to university in Sydney where he studied languages and edited the student newspaper. This led to a job with the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), which sent him to London as a foreign correspondent where he became a culture journalist.

He returned to Australia and taught radio journalism until he was sent to the United States where he filed political stories from New York and Washington. He  set up a Central and Eastern bureau, based in Zagreb for ABC and found himself in the heart of the action. He covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the defenestration of the Ceaușescu regime and the wars in the Balkans. 

In 1995 he got a job with the BBC World Service in London and has been there since, now as a freelance. He soon became active in the NUJ, was the long-term chair of the Broadcasting Industrial Council and has been on the NEC for 10 years. He is known as a doughty fighter for journalists’ rights and decent pay.

He speaks French, German, Italian and Serbo-Croat (as well as English) and is a supporter of Chelsea football club.

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