Motion for Photographers’ Organiser remitted

April 14, 2007

The Freelance Industrial Council’s motion to appoint a Photographers’ Organiser was remitted this morning.

Pete Jenkins’ appeal sparked heavy debate from both sides, highlighting that this is a controversial issue that may well will live to see another ADM.

Many feel the 2,500 photographers that make up the union need an official dedicated to their specific demands.

In support of the motion, Jennifer Murray said that the creation of a Photographers’ Organiser would free up officials who spend a disproportionate amount of their time on matters concerning photographers.

Also in appeal for an independent representative for photographers, a Nottingham delegate spoke out about his recent experience with the police: “A representative with professional knowledge of photography would have assisted my case when I was arrested 14 months ago,” he said.

Opposing members called for remittance on the basis that motion 77 was passed in order to enable a comprehensive staffing review. This will take into account the needs of photographers in line with all other NUJ members.

Peter Murray from the NEC said that it was important not to “ghettoise” photographers, seperating them from the rest of the union and taking work and money away from other sectors.

At a time when digital convergence is blurring the traditional divide between press, broadcast and online journalism, NUJ delegates decided that issues must be faced as a whole body.

Seamus Dooley of the Official’s Chapel said: “When we move together in unity, all members will get the service they deserve.”

Heroes, breakfast and OFCOM

April 13, 2007

What’s the one thing that most people would rather avoid at 7:00am after not enough sleep. After convening with colleagues I can safely says it’s the prospect of having a camera thrust into your face with a relative minor hero to your right. That’s the start that I received after attending the Birmingham at the forefront of the digital media age breakfast hosted by The Birmingham Post this morning.

When I arrived, which was slightly earlier than published admittedly, I was confronted with not only Mark Reeves, Editor of The Birmingham Post but also personal hero Adrian Goldberg. Many a time at uni, which is based in the midlands, I have been submitted to his dulcet tones and political views on the Politics show and has become somewhat of a hero in house filled with male trainee journalists.

I was awe struck but what shocked me more was about to follow, Phillip Graff from OFCOM spoke about the intriguing subject of a news PSP. No not another high-tech version of the popular computer games machine but an idea to start a new Public Service Publisher.

This was news to me. But Mr Graff, calmly and collectively talked us all through it, simplistic enough for student boy here to understand but complex to keep even the most versed on the edge of their seat. Content will be spread over multi-platform, which will give the opportunity to have a product that can be ‘made, mixed and mashed’ as Graff quotes.

All this comes at a price though and the estimated 50-100 million seemed to some to be way short of the mark. If you want to have a quality product then you need to invest in the idea to which Graff retorted ‘’This is a new organisation and everything is up for debate’.

With the digital switchover-taking place in 2008, new ideas and opinions are constantly being voiced on the future of media consumption and if anyone else wants to add then OFCOM are more than welcome to hear and discuss all matters.

So an informative talk, debate and I got the chance to meet a hero, that’s what the ADM must surely be about to students.

More information is available from

NUJ President Condemns Kidnap of BBC Journalist

April 13, 2007

Ian Power, in Birmingham

Welcoming NUJ delegates to the next 100 years of the Union, President Chris Morley asked delegates to remember a member currently in grave danger. Mr Morley labeled the kidnapping of BBC Journalist Alan Johnston as a “vile attack on journalism and freedom of the press that is deeply disturbing for his family, friends and colleagues”. Speaking to a delegation of over 200 journalists from around the British Isles the NUJ President added “I hope whoever is keeping him captive will see sense and release Alan immediately”.

Addressing the Union, General Secretary Jeremy Dear echoed Chris Morley’s sentiments. Met with a rapturous applause Mr Dear commented that “Alan is more than an individual, he is one of us; his union family. We will not rest until Alan is free”.

Mr Morley also remembered Journalists who have lost their lives doing the job they love, “some of our members have already paid the price for upholding high standards in Journalism, such as Veronica Guerin and Martin O’Hagan”.

Moving onto the wider issue of the future of the NUJ, Mr Morley said that the Union was “well equipped to head into our second century”. He said that the NUJ “cannot wallow in nostalgia” but must look to the future and keep the union on the financial straight and narrow. The easiest way to do this, he said, was to go out and recruit new members.

The President went on to send a strong message to editors and management in the fight for better pay and conditions, “If you don’t value your journalists, why do you expect you readers and viewers to value the work that they do”. Speaking about the need to keep the pressure on these individuals, Mr Morley said “we cannot afford to sit back and take our foot off the pedal in our fight for decent pay and conditions”.

General Secretary Jeremy Dear was equally disgusted at the treatment of journalists by the “fat cats” in the industry. “I am sick of watching senior management reward themselves obscenely while the creative people struggle for a decent wage”.

The 100th ADM of the NUJ will continue throughout the whole weekend.