Friday, 20 November 2009

Goodwin defends Watts against Dear

Bill Goodwin, an NUJ hero for risking jail rather than reveal his sources, has defended Journalist editor candidate Mark Watts.
Watts was criticised by NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear on his blog for "rubbishing the union" and making attacks on rival Rich Simcox, over his backing by the NUJ Left, during his campaign to be elected editor of the Journalist.
But Goodwin, in a posting on this blog, says: "Its not true to suggest that Mark Watts rubbished the union. That sounds to me like a case of shooting the messenger. The issue Mark highlighted – that a political group within the NUJ is, behind the scenes, trying to place its own candidates in elected positions– is something that NUJ members clearly need to know about.
"Mark came in from a lot of very personal flack from members of the NUJ Left, including some very bizarre allegations from its members, for raising this issue. The focus of Mark’s criticism was always the lack of transparency in the behaviour of the NUJ Left. He certainly hasn’t attacked Richard Simcox, or any other individual on a personal level."

1 comment:

Fiona O'Cleirigh said...

Well, what do you expect? Uncompromising NUJ hero Bill Goodwin is known for defending the people who should be defended, in the interests of ethical journalism.

Mark did indeed come in for very personal abuse from members of NUJ Left. He was prepared to put up with this, and risk becoming 'too controversial' during his election campaign, because he also puts journalism first. Mark is a true union man and a true journalist.