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."
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery