by Paul Breeden
Chair, NUJ Bristol Branch
It’s Delegate Meeting time next month – the conference at which union members debate policy for the next 18 months.
Several of us are going as Bristol Branch delegates, and we’d like to hear your views on any of the issues that will be discussed – including who has the right to become an NUJ member. I’ve bulleted a few of them below, but for the full agenda go to http://www.nuj.org.uk/files/Final2011.pdf.
If you’ve got views on any of the topics below, or anything else to be discussed at DM, please come and tell us at the Branch meeting on Thursday 24 March, write a comment below, or email me at:
Topics to be covered (this is my own pick of the 149 motions – it can’t be comprehensive, so look at the agenda for more details):
Gender balance: Motion 18 would require branches to ensure a balance of men and women wherever possible when nominating members for positions
Government policy: Motion 28 calls for the NUJ to support a vigorous anti-cuts campaign, possibly including a general strike
Blogging: Motion 39, submitted by Bristol branch, builds on the success of our What’s The Blogging Story event last autumn, and calls on the union to look at building a network of blogs that promote and adhere to the NUJ’s Code of Conduct
Racism: Motion 41 calls on the union to campaign against the BNP and other fascist groups from being allowed to use mainstream media as a platform. NB: Bristol members at the last branch meeting were opposed to a no-platform-for-racists policy
The PCC: Motion 43 calls for the abolition of the PCC and its replacement by “a more independent, effective regulatory body”
Photographers: Motion 57 calls for the establishment of a dedicated, elected Photographers Council to represent all NUJ photographers, staff and freelance
Media co-operatives: Motion 79 highlights a nascent news co-op in South Wales and calls for union support
African journalists: Motion 82 supports the work to get African governments to commit to protecting free journalism
Northcliffe: Motion 92 condemns staff cuts and high profits at Northcliffe Media (owner of the Evening Post, and the partially-reprieved Venue)
Murdoch: Motion 105 calls for a review of media ownership rules which allow Rupert Murdoch undue influence
Photography permits: Motion 115, from us, campaigns against permit schemes by councils such as Bristol which demand fees from photographers for filming on publicly owned land
Joining the NUJ: Motion 127 says NUJ membership should be extended to anyone working for a media company, eg technical or support staff, or in media departments of any company – a radical proposal, but one which might allow the union to grow, and to become the union for all media workers.
And Motion 128 suggests the earnings limit for NUJ membership should be reduced from 50% to 25% to counter low wages, the growth of new forms of journalism and the fragmentation of the industry
Internet workers: Motion 135 encourages the union to reach out to workers in new media companies
The Journalist: Motion 143 calls for the editor of the union magazine to be appointed instead of elected by all members
Cashback for interns: Motion 145 highlights a campaign which has won payments for unwaged media interns, and regrets that The Journalist didn’t cover it except by way of an advert
Health cuts: Late Notice Motion 6 condemns the Govt’s Health and Social Care Bill and points out that by abolishing many health bodies it restricts journalists’ opportunity to report on health matters.
GOT ANY VIEWS? LET US KNOW!