Friday, 14 November 2008

NUJ's Journalist celebrates centenary with revamp but cuts back to six issues a year

Congratulations to the NUJ's magazine The Journalist which celebrated its 100th birthday at a bar in King's Cross tonight. Congratulations too to Tim Gopsill who has held the editor's post for 20 years. Not an easy task in a union which at times has been riven by factional infighting.
Tim, in a speech marking the centenary, told how in his first five years as editor the then general secretary Harry Conroy had denied him a computer on the grounds that direct input would "put printers out of work".
The Journalist has a new design and is embracing the digital age by putting more news online but is at the same time going bi-monthly, cutting back from 10 to six issues a year. The logic of this is easy to understand. It saves the union £90,000 a year and fits in with the current thinking that news should go online and magazines concentrate on features and analysis. I just hope the website can keep the personality and independence of the magazine. Who will run the website, the editor of The Journalist (who is elected by the membership) or union apparatchiks?
One bit of good news for the union is that Miles Barter, former northern organiser of the NUJ, has been tempted back into the fold to work for the communications department in London. Barter, a former regional weekly editor and one time Midlands' correspondent for Press Gazette, is a first class journalist. One of Miles' best scoops was tracking down and interviewing an NUJ finance officer who had disappeared and was the subject of a police investigation. The cops couldn't find him but Miles did.

No comments: