Friday 7 August 2009

NUJ conference: Call for campaign against cuts

The crisis in the regional media will be high on the agenda at the NUJ's annual conference in November and will hear a call for a campaign to be launched to combat cuts in editorial, office closures and increased workloads.
A motion, proposed by the unions' national executive council, will call on the conference to condemn cuts in regional newspapers and at ITV which "have further eroded the ability of journalists to properly serve their local communities."
The motion says: "Such cuts not only damage quality but are a false economy – losing readers and viewers – and ultimately advertisers – as overworked staff are forced to cut corners
and compromise on the range and depth of coverage.
"For journalists the cuts not only mean a loss of jobs but longer hours, increased workloads and a rising incidence of stress and bullying."
The motion calls for the union's executive to mount a campaign to co-ordinate industrial response to compulsory redundancies, job cuts and office closures which damage editorial quality, and increase workloads.
It says the campaign should involve:
A series of protests and activities around key company and industry events, company AGMs, events organised by employers organisations.
A lobby of the UK Parliament.
Using legal challenges and health and safety law to tackle job cuts, workload issues and stress.
Building community-based campaigns alongside trades union councils, community and local business organisations.
A series of regional rallies to build towards a union-wide day of action in defence of quality media to take place in 2010.
Triggering a public debate about media ownership and regulation and alternative business models, including support for community, local and regional media start-ups.
The conference will be held in Southport from 19 to 22 November. The preliminary agenda can be read here.

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