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14 July 2007

Don't forget - London, 26 July evening - drinks on the NUJ

Less than two weeks to go - if you haven't told your friends already, tell 'em now:

NUJ New Media Social Recruitment Event

The NUJ's London Central Branch is putting on a recruitment social event, so, if you work in new media or do you have friends or colleagues who work in new media and like having a drink in good company in comfortable surroundings - please come along.

This event is planned to start at 7:30 pm on Jul 26, 2007 upstairs at the Yorkshire Grey pub, Holborn, London.

If you're on Facebook, you can RSVP at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2393405298, if not, just turn up.

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10 July 2007

Fairer subs for new media

As of Monday 9 July, the union's members working in new media will see a fairer subscription rate, with many paying lower subs. The change follows a decision made at this year's Annual Delegate Meeting.

The ADM motion called for subs for all new media journalists, except for those working alongside other journalists in the more established parts of the media, to be lowered to Grade 1.

Low pay continues to be a problem in many parts of the new media sector and job uncertainty is endemic, factors that made recruitment very difficult with subs for the sector at the highest level. The New Media Industrial Council hopes the new subs rates will lead to a boom in recruitment in the sector at a time when the union most needs it.

The full text of the new rule will be in the new Rule Book, but the breakdown means that all those, except people employed in workplaces defined under Grades 2 and 3, will pay subs at the lowest grade. The others will pay subs as appropriate to their workplace.

As part of the new media recruitment drive following the change in subs, London Central Branch has organised a recruitment event in the city on Thursday July 26 from 7:30. Details below.

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04 July 2007

Lords communications committee to probe media ownership and the news


[mind you the parliamentary web team seem to have some communication problems of their own - two of the three links are kaput. When I visited them the email advice signup was down as was the link to the call for evidence]

The House of Lords Communications Committee have today launched a new inquiry into media ownership and the news.

The inquiry will be in two parts, with the Committee first focusing on changes in the way people access news, developments in the way news is provided and how concentrated media ownership affects the balance and diversity of news in a democracy. The Committee will then go on to consider the concentration of media ownership, cross media ownership and the regulation framework.

The Committee have today launched a Call for Evidence for the first part of the inquiry. A separate Call for Evidence will be issued later in the year for the second part of the inquiry.

At this stage the Committee are particularly seeking evidence on:

1. How and why have the agendas of news providers changed? How has the content of news programmes and newspapers altered over the years?

2. How is the way that people access the news changing? The Committee is interested in national and regional trends and figures for television, radio, newspaper and on-line news consumption.

3. How has the process of news gathering changed? The Committee is interested in the process of news production, the prioritisation of budgets and the deployment of journalistic resources.

4. What is the impact of the concentration of media ownership on the balance and diversity of opinion seen in the news? Does ownership have an impact on editorial priorities and on news values such as fairness, accuracy and impartiality?

5. How should the public interest be protected and defined in terms of news provision? Are the public interest considerations set down for Ofcom in the Communications Act 2003 enough to ensure a plurality of debating voices in the UK news media?

Commenting Lord Fowler, who chairs the House of Lords Communications Committee, said:

“There has been an increasing concentration of ownership in the media. We want to examine if this has had an effect upon news provision. There are important public interest factors here. In a democracy it is vital to have as wide a diversity of news as possible.”

“There has been very little work investigating the impact of ownership on editorial priorities such as fairness, accuracy and impartiality. It is important to know what influence ownership has in order to make informed decisions on media regulation.”

Notes to Editors

1. The House of Lords Communications Committee was formed in May 2007 to consider issues relating to communications and the media. It has since then been conducting a short inquiry into the Chairmanship of the BBC.

2. The Call for Evidence on the Committee’s new inquiry into Media Ownership and The News can be found at:


3. The current members of the House of Lords Communications Committee are:

Lord Fowler (Chairman)

Lord King of Bridgewater

Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury

The Bishop of Manchester

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

Lord Maxton

Baroness Eccles of Moulton

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall

Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick

Baroness Scott of Needham Market

Baroness Howe of Idlicote

Baroness Thornton

Lord Inglewood


03 July 2007

Get your face in our place!

Will you be the 300th member of the NUJ's Facebook community?

Yes, it's grown extremely quickly and is already at 299 members, organising local get togethers and with a number of discussions underway. Come and chat to us all, before everyone's gran is on Facebook too and we all have to flee to whatever the new flavour of the month is.

(Come on, you're journalists ferchrissakes - We know you all use it!)

And for any hardened Web2.0 cynics still out there, here is a nice little ditty from ad-agency Asabailey, promoting the new social interweb at the fringe of this year's Cannes Ad Festival. (NSFW: Be warned if easily offended, or at work!)