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www.nuj.org.uk | OCTOBER/november 2013
cyberattacks Hidden war on press freedom
j o u r n a l i s t s
Contents Main feature
14 New threats to press freedom Growing abuse of the internet
he issue of journalistic ethics and values remain centre stage months after the Leveson report into press standards. And the controversy over some of the excesses of journalistic behaviour will reignite soon with the trial later this month of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. It’s possibly no surprise then that, as we report in our news pages, confidence in the press has fallen to a 30-year low. Politicians and newspapers have yet to agree on a way forward for new regulation and there seems no way out of the impasse. It is in everyone’s interests that confidence in the press and journalism returns soon. On the same note, the BBC director general is pledging to revive trust in the organisation and to build a more harmonious working environment following the scandals of executive pay-offs, and of bullying that was exposed by the NUJ in a comprehensive dossier. Like journalism in general, the BBC will have to work hard to rebuild its old reputation. But let’s not forget there are many honourable things to celebrate about journalism and journalists. Sadly in this edition we record the death of one of the best examples of both. Geoffrey Goodman was one of the most distinguished industrial and political writers of the last century. He was also a very kind and considerate colleague, always helpful to new and green journalists who happened upon the union beat, as he was to me many years ago.
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Cover picture istock
03 BBC plans more cuts
New director general outlines vision
04 Rebuild time for paywalls
News groups look at fresh plans
05 Johnson Press seeks redundancies New programme threatens jobs
06 TUC in Bournemouth NUJ and general news
08 Women trail men in careers
Men more likely to get senior roles
10 Let’s go to Dublin
A visit to Ireland’s major media centre
13 Claudia close to justice
Colombian journalist’s victory
09 Michelle Stanistreet 20 Technology 21 NUJ and me
Arts with Attitude Pages 22-23
Raymond Snoddy Page 17
Letters and Steve Bell 24-25
BBC plans more cuts in Hall’s new vision
he BBC is seeking up to a further £200m in cost savings to fund initiatives including a personalised iPlayer ondemand service, an expanded digital music offering and more drama and entertainment programming. Tony Hall, director general, said the extra savings come on top of the existing £700m cuts planned under the Delivering Quality First strategy, admitting that hard choices will have to been made in order to fund the new initiatives. In his first outline of the future of the corporation, Mr Hall also pledged a new era for the organisation’s internal culture, acknowledging that the Jimmy Savile scandal and rows over severance pay had highlighted a culture of management seeking to protect themselves instead of acting in the interests of licence fee payers. The NUJ has demanded an investigation into the operation of the BBC’s Human Resource practices in the wake of revelations of bullying and a dirty tricks campaign that sought to undermine the NUJ at the public service broadcaster. Lucy Adams, the BBC’s HR Director is to quit in the Spring after her resignation was announced in September.
The corporation is also cutting 75 more posts in news and the English regions in the latest round of cuts in the Delivering Quality First programme. Meanwhile, the performance of flagship news programmes, including Newsnight and Panorama, are to be scrutinised in a sweeping review by the BBC Trust. Current affairs shows will be examined alongside the BBC’s entire news output in the first review of its kind by the BBC’s governing body. The BBC Trust said that the review would look broadly at the quality and distinctiveness of BBC journalism – across television, radio and online – and its ability to adapt to changing viewing habits.
The extra savings come on top of the existing £700m cuts planned under the Delivering Quality First strategy
Lobbying bill will stifle free speech
he union is opposing the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, branding the Government’s suggested changes as cosmetic and not substantial. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ
general secretary, said: “The NUJ must ask if the intended consequence of the bill is to stifle freedom of speech. The bill still needs major revision. If it is the intent of the bill, then any MP or peer who believes in freedom of speech must throw out the bill. The
bill is also a malicious attack on trade union autonomy by this government.” Iain Anderson, director of the Cicero lobbying group and chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, said: “The amendments have not changed the scope of the
Bill’s impact on the lobbying industry. It shows that they [ministers] are not listening. There has been no change to the definition of those who lobby, and who they lobby. Rational arguments and Parliament’s wider concerns are being ignored.” mirrorpix.com
Geoffrey, an industrial giant
he undisputed doyen of trade union journalism Geoffrey Goodman, the veteran Daily Mirror writer, has died aged 91. Geoffrey was one of Britain’s most respected journalists through his coverage of the turbulent
industrial and political times of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a passionate trade unionist, socialist, and a generous spirited colleague. Geoffrey, who had had a ringside seat at the TUC at the height of its powers, continued to attend the
annual union gathering until the end, taking more diligent note of debates than many of his newer colleagues. And he never allowed his vast experience to give way to arrogance, treating all with absolute respect.
Brooks stands trial this month The trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will start on October 28th after being delayed by seven weeks for legal reasons. Ms Brooks faces five charges in relation to allegations of conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Murdoch delays grilling by MPS Plans to bring Rupert Murdoch before the culture, media and sport committee for further questioning have been shelved after the attorney general and Mr Murdoch’s lawyers intervened. Mr Murdoch’s lawyers advised that he should not submit to questioning until all criminal trials relating to the News of the World and the Sun are over. Web-led FT will scale down print The FT is making major changes to its print production with “a single edition, global print product in the first half of 2014.” Lionel Barber, editor, said: “The 1970s style newspaper publishing process – making incremental changes to multiple editions through the night – is dead. In future, our print product will derive from the web offering – not vice versa.” ITV pay claim linked to success The NUJ, Bectu and Unite have put in a pay claim for ITV staff that takes into account the workforce’s contribution to the company’s success.The joint claim for RPI plus 3 per cent recognises the company’s projected 11 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for 2013, reinforcing the 157 per cent increase in profits achieved from 2009-12. Welcome for O’hagan review The NUJ has given a guarded welcome to the announcement that the police handling of the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan is to be reviewed by the police ombudsman in Northern Ireland. theJournalist | 3
Rebuild time for paywalls
in brief... Lloyd’s list sails into digital waters Lloyd’s List, which claims to be the world’s oldest continuously published newspaper, is to become totally digital by the end of this year The move by the news, analysis and data source for the global shipping industry, which was founded in 1734, follows a survey of readers which showed that more than 97 per cent prefer to access information online. Good housekeeping closes on glamour Condé Nast’s Glamour is on the brink of falling under 400,000 sales and being passed by Hearst’s Good Housekeeping. Glamour had sales of 400,371 in the first half, a fall of 14.8 per cent yearon-year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. With Good Housekeeping’s sales at 395,661 it will overtake in the next six months if sales trends continue. Writedowns hit Bauer’s profits Bauer, publisher of titles including FHM, Heat and Grazia, saw profits fall 75 per cent last year partly because of writedowns on the value of titles acquired in Australia. The German publisher, which owns more than 20 titles in the UK including Empire, Q and Zoo, saw pre-tax profits drop from £57.3 million to £13.9 million. ex-centaur boss looks at bidding Former Centaur chief exective Geoff Wilmot has confirmed he is in talks with financial backers about making a bid for the business. Mr Wilmot left Centaur in June along with managing director of the business publishing division Tim Potter. Former Brighton argus Editor dies David Williams, who edited the Brighton Argus at the time the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel during the Conservative Party conference in 1984, has died aged 81. Mr Williams was an experienced journalist and editor who crossed to and from Fleet Street and the regional and local press. 4 | theJournalist
As News Corp has put titles such as The Times behind paywalls, traffic has dropped by as much as 90 per cent
xaro, the investigative news site, has dismantled its paywall and all its content is now available to read. It says it will now “focus on add-on data services as its main generator of revenue.” Exaro, whose slogan is ‘holding power to account’ links with established news organisations to spread its stories. Recently, working in partnership with Channel 4 News, Exaro broke the story about arrested Sun journalists secretly recording a meeting with Rupert Murdoch in which he criticised ‘incompetent cops’ The story came from the former Guardian Whitehall and investigative journalist David Hencke who is one of Exaro’s key correspondents. Meanwhile Mirror Group Digital enjoyed a surge in daily browsers of nearly
20 per cent in August – the month the Sun introduced its website paywall. Trinity Mirror mounted an aggressive campaign to attract digital Sun website users seeking to continue reading free online content. News Corp is trying to increase the value of advertising across its newspaper websites by launching a private digital exchange to sell directly to advertisers. “Content aggregators would like to commodify our content, while data scrapers would like to aggregate our audience,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. As News Corp has put titles such as The Times behind paywalls, traffic has dropped
by as much as 90 per cent. In the regional press Johnston Press said it plans to pilot a metered paywall at ‘one or more’ of its titles next year. Ashley Highfield, chief executive, said the group would assess how much content could be put behind a paywall, where to set the meter and how subscriptions and advertising revenue might be affected. Johnston Press last trialed website paywalls on a number of sites in November 2009, but halted the experiment due to low take-up.
300-year English paper edited in Wales
ne of England’s oldest local papers to be edited in Wales as a subbing hub moves over the border. The move will also cut jobs. Jobs are to be lost at a Newsquest subbing hub in Worcester, as staff were told the work is to be transferred 70 miles to a new editing unit in Newport,
South Wales. Fifteen posts are at risk. One of the jewels in the Newquest crown, the Berrows Worcester Journal, which was established in 1690, will be subbed across the border. Other titles served by the hub include the Worcester News, Ledbury Reporter, Malvern Gazette, Stourbridge News
and Halesowen News. The NUJ is concerned that the introduction of this system does not mirror problems in Glasgow, where a new content system forced members to threaten industrial action because it was not fit for purpose and led to needless redundancies.
Shining the spotlight on bullying
he truth about bullying in the media and entertainment industries will be revealed at a conference in London on November 19th, with the publication of a survey of more than 4,000 union members. The conference is part of the Creating without Conflict campaign run by the Federation of Entertainment Unions, of which the NUJ is an active member. The campaign is about how union members can confront inappropriate work practices that lead to bullying. And it isn’t just about the bosses: interim results of the survey show that while managers can be the bullies, co-workers in the newsroom, cast or orchestra are also guilty. http://www.nuj.org.uk/events/creating-without-conflict/
ohnston Press has launched a voluntary redundancy programme across all the group. Staff at the regional newspaper group have until later this month to apply for redundancy under ‘enhanced terms’. The union has warned the latest proposed cuts will dramatically impact the working conditions of journalists remaining at the group’s newspapers. Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ deputy general secretary, said: “Already there are serious issues over workload and the pace at which digital change is being imposed. Revenue migration to digital remains disappointing and seems to be driven by a mistaken belief that it will come right in the end. “The root cause of this crisis is the scale of the group’s indebtedness and the draconian terms under which the banks including RBS have structured the loans.” Ashley Highfield, chief executive, said in a
Johnston Press seeks more redundancies statement to staff: “We announced a set of healthier results to the city in August which included a return to operating profit growth, strong digital revenues and increases in overall audience. To ensure we are in a solid position for continued growth we need to be constantly reviewing our business structure and rescaling where appropriate.” Recently the group announced a profits increase of four per cent to £28.6m for the first half of this year. But revenue fell almost 10 per cent to £144.2m and the group is £306.4m in debt. Johnston Press has slashed staff numbers in recent years and employed 4,350 people at the end of 2012 (a 23.1 per cent drop year on year). In 2006 it employed more than 7,800 people. Most staff can apply for redundancy, but those involved in digital and in jobs generating advertising revenue are exempt. The group has also invited applications from those wanting to work reduced hours or take a career break.
Already there are issues over workload and the pace at which digital change is being imposed
Press reputation drops to 30-year low
onfidence in the press has fallen to its lowest level for 30 years, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. It found that 27 per cent felt the press is well run, compared with 53 per cent of respondents in 1983. Only the banks fared worse for public confidence, with
19 per cent of respondents saying that they were well run. Thirty years ago 90 per cent voiced confidence in the banks. The survey comes as a question mark continues to hang over the future of press regulation with politicians rejecting the industry’s plans for
policing journalistic behaviour and ethics. But the BBC fared well with confidence in it growing from 49 per cent in 2009 to 63 per cent in 2012. However, the survey, based on a weighted survey of 950 adults, predates the Jimmy Savile scandal.
New magazine for single parents
new online magazine for single parents has been launched by broadcast journalist, NUJ member and single mum Kelly Rose Bradford. Parenting Solo (parentingsolo.co.uk) focuses on news, debate, features and expert opinion for mums and dads who are bringing up
children without a partner. The website will run alongside a Facebook page (facebook.com/ parentingsoloUK) and Twitter feed (@ParentingSoloUK), as well as a weekly newsletter
with hyperlinks to content. Kelly Rose said: “There are two million single parents in the UK, making up 26 per cent of households with dependent children. I wanted to provide content that was
just for them because I know how seldom we feature in mainstream publications.”
in brief... News UK confirms no times merger Independent directors at The Times Newspapers finally confirmed the appointments of John Witherow as editor of The Times and Martin Ivens as editor of the Sunday Times after an assurance from News UK that it won’t merge the two titles. The endorsement comes after a nine-month stand-off between the directors and Rupert Murdoch. dacre continues as Daily mail editor Paul Dacre has signed a new contract as editor of the Daily Mail, the chairman of the Daily Mail & General Trust has revealed. In an interview with Tatler magazine, Viscount Rothermere quashed suggestions that Mr Dacre would depart soon after his 65th birthday next month. Flanders quits bbc for banking role Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s economics editor, is leaving to become chief market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management. Ms Flanders has been at the BBC for 11 years and was previously Newsnight’s economics editor. She has also worked for the Financial Times. She said her new job would allow more time and resources for research. Newton takes over Sun on Sunday Victoria Newton has been appointed editor of the Sun On Sunday as part of a radical overhaul for the News UK title, launched last year to replace the News of the World. Ms Newton, a former showbusiness reporter, was deputy editor of the News of the World when it closed two years ago at the height of the phone-hacking scandal. Hill returns to ITV news as editor Geoff Hill, the editor of Channel 5 News, has been appointed editor of ITV News. Mr Hill returns to the network news bulletin he left in 2007. He is replacing Deborah Turness, the former editor who moved to take charge of NBC News last month. theJournalist | 5
in brief... GENERAL STRIKE STILL AN OPTION Delegates voted by eight to one for the TUC to continue to consider the practicalities of holding a general strike in protest at austerity measures and the assault on workers’ rights. Proposing the motion, RMT leader Bob Crow said: “We can either stand in the middle of the road paralysed like frightened rabbits or get off our knees and fight for what we stand for.” LOBBYING BILL COULD FACE LEGAL ACTION An emergency motion was passed calling for the consideration of legal action against the government’s lobbying and trade union administration Bill and urging unions leaders to explore the possibility of ‘non-co-operation’ if it becomes law. The resolution said the bill was a clear attack on democracy and would curb the activities of unions and charities. FIGHT TO SAVE THE ROYAL MAIL Congress unanimously backed the Communication Workers Union in its protest against the privatisation of Royal Mail. The union’s deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the fight had been going on for two decades: “We’re not coming through all that pain we had to save the industry only to hand it over, just as the fortunes of the company have been turned round.” EAGLE BACKS STATE OWNERSHIP OF RAIL Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle revealed that she was in favour of renationalising the rail network and wanted it to be included in the Labour manifesto. At a fringe meeting she said privatisation had been ‘disastrous’. MEN DOMINATE SCIENCE JOBS Just one in eight jobs involving expertise in science, technology, engineering and maths is occupied by women, the conference heard. Male-dominated work groups and prejudices against part-time working were major barriers, said Sue Ferns, of the Prospect union. 6 | theJournalist
Miliband gets a roasting over union-Labour plans
nion leaders tore in to Ed Miliband behind the scenes after his keynote conference speech. The Labour leader’s address, which included a pledge to ban zero hours contracts and a promise to promote a ‘Living Wage’, was greeted with polite applause. But in a private meeting later general secretaries of unions affiliated to Labour rounded on Miliband over his plans for the union-party link. He was told that his scheme to make union members ‘opt-in’ to Labour membership, rather than ‘opt out’ as they do at present, would be disastrous for fragile party finances. Only a small fraction would opt in, he was warned. At the moment a proportion of subscriptions to unions affiliated to Labour automatically goes to the party. Miliband’s assertion that unions could supplement the contributions to the party from individual members with separate donations, was greeted with exasperation. Such donations would be problematic if only a
tiny proportion of their members had shown a readiness to ‘opt in’, they told him. It would also contradict his insistence on funding explicitly agreed by individuals. NUJ delegate Anita Halpin said: “Ed Miliband’s attitude towards unions is mistaken. There’s nothing wrong with a collective affiliation that represents the sum of individuals’ feelings. “The Labour Party was set up to give a voice in Parliament to workers. But Ed Miliband has given in too much to an agenda set by David Cameron.”
There’s nothing wrong with a collective affiliation that represents the sum of individuals’ feelings
EMPLOYERS’ BLACKLIST ‘OUTRAGEOUS’
here should be a full public inquiry into the blacklisting of workers and it should be made a criminal offence, congress decided. The TUC announced a national day of protest on
November 20 against the practice which has denied individuals employment for years on end. Delegates heard that more than 3,200 workers had been blacklisted by construction companies,
many of them simply for being union members. GMB national officer Justin Bowden told delegates: “If celebrity phone hacking was a national scandal, the secret conspiracy that denied workers employment
without explanation and ruined lives is a civil rights outrage.” He said only a Levesonstyle public inquiry would force the culprits and their police informants to ‘own up, clean up, pay-up’.
Coalition ministers waging class war
UC general secretary Frances O’Grady accused coalition ministers of ‘waging war on working people’. She said there had been ‘plenty of ugly talk’ from David Cameron about a crackdown on migrants, but no crackdown on employers who use cheap labour to cut costs. She laid other accusations at the door of the Prime Minister: “Tough on welfare fraud for sure. But no sympathy for those unlucky enough to fall on hard times or lose their job. “Freedom to raise prices for big business.
But no pay rise for ordinary working families. “Decent families up and down the land; facing worries that the Eton educated elite, with their serial holidays, hired help and inherited millions, simply haven’t got a clue about.” In her first speech to congress as TUC general secretary, Frances said that politics was controlled by people with ‘too much money and power’ and insisted that trade unions had a vital role to play to make sure ordinary families were able to have a voice at the top table.
State surveillance and harassment poses growing threat to civil liberties
ongress gave overwhelming support to an NUJ motion expressing grave concern over the erosion of civil liberties and democratic rights in the UK and the all-pervading nature of mass surveillance. Proposing the resolution, NUJ executive member Tom Davies (pictured) expressed alarm over the Prime Minister’s apparently personal decision to send government agents to the Guardian to smash computer hard drives. The agents destroyed material relating to the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden about the ‘industrial scale’ of data trawling by GCHQ and the American National Security Agency. The raid was followed by the detention at Heathrow of David Miranda, partner of one of the journalists who broke the story about mass surveillance. “This isn’t about one newspaper – about which people will have differing opinions – and one whistleblower,” said Tom. “This is of a piece with a whole range of threats – not just to our members doing their jobs, but to civil liberties and democratic rights more generally.” Tom, a freelance working mostly for the Guardian, said many delegates would have experienced being ‘kettled’ by police – being contained without arrest – so the police could take details of protesters. It was becoming harder to organise demonstrations and the
all images jess hurd
‘mission creep’ of anti-terrorism laws was undermining civil liberties. He said journalists had been put in danger by police demanding they hand over photographs and video footage. The union has resisted attempts to make them ‘instruments of the state’. Paul McGoay, of PCS union, said the Interception of Communications Commissioner had authorised 570,000 requests from the police and security services – a 15 per cent increase on 2011. He said his union’s members at GCHQ should be protected from being forced to acting illegally.
Journalists had been put in danger by police demanding they hand over photographs and video footage
Press and broadcasting plagued by bullying
ritain’s newsrooms are plagued by bullying, NUJ president Barry McCall told delegates. He said the problem extended far beyond the national press to broadcasting, as the NUJ’s submission to the Rose Review at the BBC showed.
“Having been a journalist and trade union activist for more than 30 years I thought I was beyond shock. Then I read the report on bullying in the BBC compiled by Michelle Stanistreet. “To describe it as harrowing would be to put it mildly. In more than one
case a member’s life was put at risk.” The report followed revelations at the Leveson Inquiry about harassment in national newspapers. At the BBC strategies were employed to target union activists and bully them out of their jobs.
“And if only career blight was the end of it; we have seen people who have had their mental health and their family lives destroyed by the cruelty of their bosses.” The only truly effective way to stop ‘this disgraceful behaviour’ was strong union organisation, he said.
The NUJ with sister organisations in the Federation of Entertainment Unions, is campaigning to eradicate bullying from media industries. Delegates unanimously backed a resolution calling on the TUC to back antibullying initiatives.
Anita wades in on union rights
he NUJ provided one of the few female speakers in a critical debate about union rights. Executive member Anita Halpin (pictured) called on the Labour Party to include in its manifesto a firm commitment to repeal laws that have been described
as ‘the most restrictive on trade unions in the western world’. Speaking as the first woman in the debate after 10 men, she asked if it would it be too much if Labour were to listen to their core voters as much as the Tories did to big
business. Six and a half million union members and their families were a significant element of the electorate, she said. The conference unanimously backed a resolution denouncing the ‘vicious attacks’ on workers’ rights under the coalition. It
urged the TUC to campaign for a ‘positive legal and regulatory framework for employment rights’.
theJournalist | 7
news in brief... New statesman shares content New Statesman has agreed a content-sharing deal with US magazine The New Republic. The UK political weekly will carry three pieces from The New Republic each week – and vice versa. New Statesman marked its centenary this year. telgraph hires us digital chief The Telegraph Media group has appointed Jason Seiken, head of digital for US public service broadcaster PBS, to a new role of chief content officer and editor-inchief. The editors of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph will report to Mr Seiken, who has been PBS general manager (digital) for six years. apology for boring snoring tweet The editor of Newsnight issued a formal apology to the Labour party after he described a member of the shadow cabinet as “boring” on Twitter. Ian Katz, the former deputy editor of the Guardian, described Rachel Reeves’ appearance on the show as ‘boring snoring’ in a tweet which he had intended to send as a private direct message.
Women journalists trail men despite strong start
omen journalists are less likely than men to achieve more senior and well-paid positions, according to a report for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The Women and Journalism study by Professor Suzanne Franks also found that women who do attain jobs at a senior level are more likely than men to be childless. At the UK Press Awards this year, the female to male winner ratio was 4:17, the lowest in five years. Prof Franks said: “In the early 1990s there were three national newspaper editors who were women. A top News International figure said in 1994 that, on this basis, ‘there should be 10 women
8 | theJournalist
More women than men train as journalists and women also enter the profession in larger numbers
New look NUJ website
concern over Ukraine action The International Federation of Journalists has expressed deep concern at political interference and censorship of the Ukraine National News Agency. According to the Independent Media Trade-Union of Ukraine in August five journalists were informed that they were being moved to a new TV-news monitoring unit. refresh your skills at the NUJ Brush up your skills with training from the NUJ. The union is running more courses in the next few weeks including writing headlines, standfirsts and intros on November 6; and economics for journalists on December 2. For more details on these and other courses see the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org,uk.
editors by the year 2000’. However, there are currently two female national editors, Dawn Neesom of the Daily Star and Lisa Markwell of the Independent on Sunday.” “We need to get over this assumption that it is all improving, that it’s all onwards and upwards. My
argument, it’s the same in a lot of other professions, is that unless you hammer away and continue to focus on the issue, nothing changes.” Ms Franks, a professor of journalism who runs the undergraduate programme at London’s City University, said that there has only ever been one female editor of a British daily broadsheet – 15 years ago when Rosie Boycott was editor of The Independent for three months. But Prof Franks said that more women than men train as journalists and that women also enter the profession in larger numbers. Last year there were twice as many female students as males in most of the main journalism training programmes.
he union has relaunched its website with a redesign and many new features aimed at tailoring services and information better to individuals’ needs. For the first time new members can join online via the website. And there is more to come, including more interactive features. The project to revamp the website has been lengthy as it has necessitated a complete overhaul of the membership database. Do let us know what you think of the new site so far and any suggestions you might have for additional features to email@example.com. The website address remains the same: www.nuj.org.uk
Can we see your Press card please?
s your NUJ press card out of date? You’ll now need to renew it via our website or by contacting the membership department. The union has decided to stop the
automatic renewal of press cards. But it’s quick and painless to request your new card by using the a renewal option at http://www.nuj.org.uk/forms/nuj-
press-card-application-form/. You’ll also be able to make sure your job title is up to date. Who knows, you might even want to spruce up that out of date photo…
Michelle Stanistreet considers the trials of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson
Countdown to the Old Bailey
t’s already being billed as the trial of the century and the countdown has begun in earnest. One hell of a media scrum can be guaranteed later this month when the Old Bailey plays host to the trial of former Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson and his erstwhile rival and close friend Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International. This public washing of a media giant’s very mukky laundry will no doubt make for fascinating viewing. The content – already the subject of ribald gossip – and the characters involved both off-stage and on will inject a soap opera-like quality to events in a drama that’s political as well as personal. The public fall of two of Rupert Murdoch’s most trusted and senior lieutenants will give David Cameron and other political figures who kowtowed at their feet real cause to squirm. But away from the impending circus, there are other less high profile cases of journalists that are causing much personal stress and broader angst amongst their colleagues in the industry. Since Brooks and Coulson were arrested two years ago, more than 60 journalists have been arrested. So far charges have been brought in over 20 cases. When the News of the World was closed in a cynical attempt to close down the criticism and to limit the potential damage to Murdoch’s broader empire, the NUJ attacked the way in which News International washed its hands of responsibility for the loyal and dedicated staff employed at the title.
Then and since then we condemned the way in which the company swiftly and systematically sought to pin the blame on ordinary working journalists, whilst at the same time deliberately trying to protect those at the top – those with real authority and influence. The lie of the ‘one rogue reporter’ was well and truly nailed but still those at the top of News International acted to protect their own necks whilst deliberately placing reporters’ heads on the block. It’s not just been News International – the trend spread as the attention of the Met broadened and arrests extended elsewhere. Other companies are similarly engaged in protecting their own corporate interests even if that means expending the reputations and livelihoods of their reporters along the way.
The company swiftly sought to pin the blame on ordinary working journalists
ragging reporters out of their beds in front of their children, in stuntlike dawn raids; placing individuals under the pressure of endless months on bail before many charges were dropped; persisting in pushing some cases to trial – this has all been a monumental act of distraction designed to make it seem like justice is being done. Only recently is the Met waking up and focusing its attention on corporate charges. The NUJ has been helping our members caught up in what has been an ongoing nightmare and we will continue to fight their cause. Because in all of this, the real issues are in danger of being lost – that sources and journalists’ ability to defend them has been spectacularly compromised by News International’s decision to do a deal and save its own neck, handing over huge amounts of data and documentation to the police without a warrant, without a production order, without a fight, without a thought for the consequences for sources who had come to the papers in trust, and without a care for the impact on loyal staff who were simply doing their job.
For all the latest news from the NUJ go to www.nuj.org.uk theJournalist | 09
Linda Harrison stops off at Dublin in our series looking at big media centres
ublin is the main media centre of Ireland and has a long history of publishing. According to journalists who live there, that tradition is far from over – despite the recession and rapid changes in the industry. Claire Murphy, a news reporter for the Herald newspaper, says: “Dublin is my home town. It is gritty, elegant, dangerous and fun. “Right now, the city is in a state of flux – there is an air that we are out the other side of the worst recession, yet the people are almost too afraid to believe it.
10 | theJournalist
“It’s interesting to see how Dubliners are adapting to the situation. The Celtic Tiger changed the city physically and spiritually. We grew in confidence but also became arrogant and complacent. “We all point the finger at the regulators and watchdogs for failing to spot the dangers, but actually journalists have to admit that we were also asleep at the wheel. It is now one of the most exciting and challenging times for journalists and we must prove our worth.” One of the many newspapers based in Dublin is The Irish Times. The daily broadsheet has been read since 1859 and is still one of the city’s biggest media employers. Another major name is Independent News & Media (INM). Its titles include the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the Herald, rebranded from The Evening Herald as a morning paper. INM also runs the Irish Daily Star as a joint venture with Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, although INM announced recently it was to take ‘full executive control’ of the paper, with staff relocating to its head office in central Dublin. Others include the Sunday Business Post, which recently saw a bid to rescue it from liquidation. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has an Irish edition and there’s the Irish Sun, Irish Mirror, Irish Daily Mail and Irish Mail on Sunday. There’s also a free morning newspaper the Metro Herald, a joint venture between Associated Newspapers, INM and The Irish Times. Of the numerous magazines in the city, publisher Harmonia has several titles, including style bible Irish Tatler. VIP Magazine Group’s publications include paid-for women’s glossy monthly Stellar and Irish teenage girls’ magazine Kiss. Image magazine is a paid-for women’s monthly glossy while Hot Press covers music and current affairs. Totally Dublin is a news and events freesheet. The Irish Famers’ Journal operates as a legal Trust, the Agricultural Trust. It publishes lifestyle insert Irish Country Living magazine, glossy mag Irish Country Magazine and racing newspaper The Irish Field. Aisling Hussey, a staff journalist for Irish Country Living, says: “Dublin is a great place to network and meet people. It’s a small enough city for all the journalists to know each other – I started as an intern last June but now know people working for the Irish Times and Irish Independent.” Her magazine is quite unusual in that it’s based in Dublin but focuses on stories outside the city. Online, the Journal.ie website was founded in 2010 and
journalists who live there: Claire Murphy, news reporter for The Herald: “The city has everything a journalist thrives on – dirty politics, powerful criminals, broken civic infrastructure, glamorous rock stars. Most of all, its people love to talk, spin yarns and have an insatiable appetite for news.” Freelance journalist Joanna Roberts: “Dublin’s size is brilliant – it’s like living in a big village. If you go into town you’re pretty much guaranteed to bump into someone you know.” Aisling Hussey, journalist for Irish Country Living magazine: “Despite the recession, Dublin is one of the only places in Ireland where you can go out for drinks during the week and places are busy. There’s plenty of music and bands. People are also very friendly.” Freelance journalist Gerard Cunningham: “I’m about an hour’s commute away in Kildare, which is an ideal situation for me. It’s close enough to get to the capital whenever I have to but I’m living in the countryside.”
has been compared to the Huffington Post. A news and entertainment website covering Irish and international news, it invites users ‘to read, share and shape the daily news agenda’. The site is owned by Distilled Media Group. Other websites include Joe.ie, a news site aimed at Irish men, and Her.ie, for Irish women. Both are owned by Maximum Media. Dublin is also a base for many broadcasters. State broadcaster RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) is a major employer. It broadcasts RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD, RTÉ News Now, RTÉjr and RTÉ One+1 digitally on SAORVIEW, Ireland’s free-to-air digital terrestrial TV service. TV3 is the main commercial broadcaster. Its network operates TV3, 3e and online service tv3.ie from Dublin. It broadcasts the longest running daytime show in the country, Ireland AM. Sports broadcaster Setanta Sports is also based in the city, offering a subscriber service. RTÉ also has four radio stations: RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ lyric fm and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, plus six digital radio services. Its big independent radio competitor is Today FM – a mix of chat and music - owned by Irish media company Communicorp Group. Communicorp runs a number of radio stations, including talk-based Newstalk. Other commercial stations include Radio Nova, country music channel Sunshine 106.8FM and Dublin music station FM104. Freelance journalist Joanna Roberts moved to Dublin five years ago. She says: “It’s got a good variety of media and it’s definitely not a disadvantage not being in London as most work is for Irish publications. For that, Dublin is the place to be really.
“In Ireland, and particularly in the Dublin media scene, everything is about who you know. And basically everyone knows everyone, or at least has someone in common. I moved here from London so it was quite a culture shock at first! “Finally, what I love about Dublin is the fact that it’s close to both the sea and the mountains. You can get a change of scenery very quickly. And it has a buzzing arts and music scene, so there’s always something going on.” Freelance journalist and chair of Dublin Freelance NUJ branch Gerard Cunningham says: “Ireland lives in a strange news space. There’s an awful lot that’s newsy here, not just domestic news but in international terms, but somehow the second part is invisible. “Corporate tax avoidance? Internet and technology? Privacy and data protection? Austerity and IMF bailouts? Those are major international themes yet, oddly, Ireland only seems to merit coverage in the UK titles when an Obama visits, and then most of the coverage is paddywackery and lilting beer-soaked cliches. “It’s often easier to sell an international story to an American title than a British one. “What’s it like to work here? There’s a recession and most of the young journalists I know are emigrating, although a few manage to pick up work, usually online.”
main media employers RTÉ RTÉ Television Centre studios are based in the Donnybrook area of Dublin. It’s been home to the national broadcaster of Ireland for more than 50 years. RTÉ recently had a major reorganization and now employs about 1,800 staff, 500 fewer than in 2008. About 1,500 are based in Dublin. Independent News & Media Approximately 550 staff in Dublin. Last year INM moved its HQ from its Citywest printworks on the outskirts of Dublin to Talbot Street in the city centre. Its titles include the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Herald, the tabloid Sunday World and the Irish Daily Star.INM is a third shareholder in Dublin’s freesheet, Metro Herald, with the Irish Times and Associated Newspapers. It claims to be the largest newspaper contract printer and wholesale newspaper distributor in Ireland.
The Irish Times The newspaper has around 450 employees based in its central Dublin office in Tara Street. It is run by the Irish Times Trust, a governing body. Communicorp Group Based at Grand Canal Quay, near the city centre. Staff figures in Dublin are approximately 300. The Irish media company owns a number of radio stations in Dublin. These include national station 100-102 Today FM and Newstalk, plus local music station 98FM, Spin 103.8 FM – aimed at a younger audience, and rock and independent music station Phantom 105.2. TV3 Commercial broadcaster TV3 was launched in 1998. It has 250 staff – most are based in the Ballymount area of Dublin with a small number in Cork.
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Claudia closer to justice Jeremy Dear on the constant fight by a journalist ranked as one of the 10 women reporters who most risk their lives
t was a time for celebration – after 12 years, arrest warrants had been issued for those behind the kidnapping, forced exile, threats and persecution of Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque. After all the suffering Claudia could enjoy the vindication, the small step she had achieved towards winning justice. But behind the armour-plated security doors of her flat, boasting locks like Fort Knox, with the TV which relays images from the security cameras which survey the inside and outside of her home rather than show films or comedies, the celebrations didn’t last long. Within 24 hours the threats started anew. Claudia was under hostile surveillance. Her daughter was followed and photographed. Claudia’s brother received intimidating phone calls. Today she and her family are once again in fear of their lives. For Claudia it has become an all too familiar reality. In 2001 she exposed irregularities in the murder of journalist Jamie Garzon – a killing she says “assassinated free expression in Colombia”. Her investigations pointed to the involvement of the security
services in the killing and subsequent cover-up. For the following seven years she was subjected to systematic intimidation at the hands of Colombia’s security services (DAS) – years of illegal monitoring, surveillance, robberies, interception of emails, physical threats and harassment. She received abusive phone calls threatening the life of her then 11-year old daughter – one caller told her “your daughter is going to suffer, we will burn her alive, we will spread her fingers throughout the house.”. She later uncovered an instruction manual published by the DAS, setting out in detail how to intimidate and frighten her and to rape her daughter. Claudia was kidnapped in 2001. She has been forced to flee Colombia three times, leaving behind family, friends and colleagues. But amidst all the terror she has had to endure, Claudia – who was made an honorary member of the NUJ in 2009 – has never given up her struggle for justice. In 2011, Newsweek ranked her as one of the 10 women journalists who most risk their lives for the sake of reporting.
They wanted to silence me but I and my supporters refused to be quiet
Sitting with her in her apartment in Bogota, she refuses to accept she is the story. She is too intent on exposing other human rights abuses. In 23 years as a journalist, she has investigated numerous high-profile cases, covering issues of forced disappearance, the recruitment of children by armed groups, the impact of impunity and the infiltration of paramilitary groups in government agencies. Her phone rings constantly – she is talking to journalists in exile, campaigning for recompense for the victims of the conflict, organising to defend a threatened journalist. One call informs her a community leader she interviewed just a few days before has been assassinated, paying the ultimate price for speaking truth to power. It puts her off her stride, momentarily. Quickly she digs out the tapes of the interview and sets about transcribing it, believing the best response to the murders, threats and abuses is to expose those behind such atrocities. That’s what gives her the strength to carry on when many other journalists would have opted for self-censorship or permanent exile, and have done so. In her own case she never gave up. When she receives the news that arrest warrants have been issued against seven senior security service officers and that for the first time ever in Colombia the charge is to be ‘psychological torture’, she feels a sense of vindication – not just for herself but for her belief in the potential of journalism as a force for good. Claudia said: “They wanted to silence me but I and my supporters refused to be quiet. “Even after the warrants were issued they tried to change the prosecutor, but we campaigned and forced them to reinstate them. That is when the threats started again. The fight for justice will be accompanied by new threats but we won’t give up until those responsible for the attacks are sentenced. “Now it is important that action is taken to tackle the threats against all journalists, to compensate the victims and to guarantee the rights of journalists to work free from fear, censorship, intimidation and murder.” theJournalist | 13
The new threats to press freedom? Tim Dawson looks at challenges to journalism from the use and misuse of computers and the internet
n Thursday 1 August this year, investigative journalist Andrew Jennings noticed that his website transparancyinsport.org, was not accessible. Jennings, who has done notable work for Panorama, World in Action and Sunday Times Insight maintains the site as part of his ongoing research into corruption in world football. He called his service provider, GreenNet. They were having problems too, admits system administrator, Ian Macdonald. “I assumed that the cable that brought the internet into our office and connects us with our servers must be down, but a call to our provider revealed that their systems were down too.” They were not alone. A massive, internet-based assault on a single page of Jenning’s site was underway. At its peak, it froze a substantial chunk of the UK’s web traffic and is thought to have affected, for several hours, up to half of all the internet traffic coming into the UK from abroad. It took five days for GreenNet to get its services back on line, by which time it was clear that a colossal ‘botnet’ attack, involving thousands of computers, had been mounted by computers in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and China. “I have had all sorts of threats over the years, from crooks, lawyers and corrupt police officers among others, but nothing like this cyber attack, the intention of which was clearly to try and shut me up”, says Jennings, from his home near Penrith, in Cumberland. “It was utterly cowardly – but happily, it will take a lot more than that to get me off a case”. “A botnet is created by criminals to harness lots of other people’s computers to their own ends”, explains Macdonald. “People often unwittingly let their computers become used in this way by clicking on some kind of a link”. Once the botnet has been created, its operator can direct all the computers under their control to make tens of thousands of requests to a particular website. The result is much the same as all the pedestrians in a city suddenly turning in their tracks to walk 14 | theJournalist
towards a particular shop. In seconds, the shop in question would be besieged – soon an entire area of the city would be gridlocked. Jennings believes that this attack came from someone close to an international sports governing body, and has now made a complaint to the Swiss police. It was accompanied by a separate attack on his WordPress blog and several anonymous ‘phishing’ emails that he received, that included zip files which purported to contain damning internal documents from the organisations that are in his sights.
tweeting up a storm The challenge to Jennings,
Indymedia and WikiLeaks might have been shadowy – that to the News of the World could not have been more public. In the early summer of 2011 the paper was already facing a storm of bad publicity. The revelation that a private investigator who worked for the title had hacked missing school girl Milly Dowler’s phone messages started a chain of events from which the News of the World would not recover. On 4 July 2011 Melissa Harrison (@ the_Z_factor) started a discussion about practical ways to damage the title. She directed Tweets at advertisers. Soon others joined in – one created a site that automated the process of tweeting companies. Another launched a web page containing the email addresses of the chief executives of the firms concerned. The initiative snowballed and soon blue-chip clients like Ford, Vauxhall,
Proctor&Gamble and, Virgin Holidays said they would withhold their advertisements. On 7 July, News International (as it then was) announced the paper’s closure. Some, understandably, cheered, and while the Twitter campaign was by no means the only factor in the paper’s demise, it was clearly significant. Whatever one might think of the 168-year-old tabloid, however, the means by which it was dealt its final blow clearly has implications for press freedom. Some in the industry have been targeting rivals’ advertisers for years, of course, in order to maintain local monopolies. The difference here was that it was conducted in public and by a section of the public. With the model established, a determined, self-selecting group could eaily target any publication that it considered to have breached what it felt were acceptable standards.
But his experiences are just one of an increasing range of digital-age threats to freedom of expression. “Anyone who thinks that ‘new media’ outlets are not being monitored by the state and the police – as well as other even less savory types – is in cloud cuckoo land”, says Julian Petley, professor of media at the University of Brunel and chair of the Campaign For Press and Broadcasting Freedom. “Governments, and others, have not been slow to exceed their authority when trying to control new media, either”. Given that in the past year, more editorial space has been given to freedom of the press than at any time in the past decade, the surprise is its narrow focus. But look beyond Leveson, and botnets are by no means the only bogeymen. On 7 October 2004, a still unidentified person, with a warrant to authorise their actions, walked into the London offices of Rackspace, a Texas-based company that rents server space. Two computers used by the pioneering open-platform
news service Indymedia were removed from the building, with the result that 21 Indymedia sites, from Belgrade to Venezuela went off-line. Who did this has never become clear, save that it appears to have been undertaken ‘pursuant to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty’. The Metropolitan Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued statements to the effect that it was nothing to do with them. Indymedia’s activist-news approach to news might not be to all tastes – indeed, since its 1999 foundation, even fans concede that it has peaked. Nevertheless, the extraordinary seizure of its servers is illustrative both of the mind-bending complexities of multinational law, and the array of high-tech approaches to undermining free expression that are now available. The digital equivalent of smashing a printing press requires not so much as breaking into a sweat. “People generally assume that the law is a set of rules, when in fact it is a game of poker”, says Mike Holderness, the chair theJournalist | 15
of the European Federation of Journalists Authors Rights Expert Group, who followed the Indymedia case closely. “When you are handed a warrant, issued by a court in Texas, on behalf of an unnamed sovereign state, even the largest, best-staffed organisation might struggle to find the resources and legal understanding to put up a fight. For a small, independent publisher, it is all but impossible – as whoever initiated these proceedings surely knew”. Wikileaks, publisher of leaked documents, experienced another form of attack. In December 2010, after the publication of a huge tranche of US diplomatic cables, Visa, Mastercard, Bank of Americal and PayPal suspended the transfer of public donations to Wikileaks. An official of Paypal was reported as saying that its decision came after a letter from the US State Department warned that WikiLeaks was holding documents illegally. It was catastrophic for WikiLeaks. A statement explained: “We are forced to temporarily suspend publishing whilst we secure our economic survival. For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade. We cannot allow giant US finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket.” A two-year long legal action forced Mastercard to resume payments to Wikileaks in July 2013.
A two-year long legal action forced Mastercard to resume payments to Wikileaks in July 2013
This catalogue represents just some of the more dramatic challenges to press freedom in the UK. Elsewhere in the world, websites and broadcasters are routinely blocked – as al Jazeera’s broadcasts to Egypt have been in recent months. Prosecutions in the UK for various, little-understood ‘communications crimes’ are rising steeply. And, David Miranda’s detention at Heathrow, of course, had all the hallmarks of real old-school impediments to press freedom. None of these threats will disappear anytime soon – but that is all the more reason for journalists to shout about them, suggests Julian Petley. “What we need is a culture where the first instinct of reporters, and the newspapers, websites and broadcasters for whom they work, is to defend freedom of expression,“ he says, “ and to expose those who try to undermine that freedom. We might not always agree about how this is best achieved, but challenging cases like these should always be top of the media’s agenda, whether we love or loath the affected publications”. If we, as practitioners, take his advice, ‘press freedom’ might generate as many column inches next year as it did in the last. If we don’t, a time may come when there is no-one left to speak up for us. By then we will have only ourselves to blame.
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Raymond Snoddy on the prospects for the new push in television
Switching on to the local life
ou would have to be a curmudgeon not to hope that the soon-to-be launched local television sector in the UK turns out to be a great success. It’s a new genre. It means jobs for journalists all over the country in 19 centres with possibly more stations to come. It will also give a lot of ambitious young people the chance to learn about television. It didn’t work last time but the circumstances are very different now. The costs of technology and production have dropped dramatically and there is just so much material out there on the web. Local television has had the support of the Government through what some saw as the obsession of former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. This has meant a hefty £40 million subsidy out of the BBC licence fee over three years – £25 million to create the infrastructure, with the rest coming in the form of up to £15 million in purchases of content from the local stations. Government support has also meant a prominent spot on the dial – Freeview Channel 8 in England and viewers always tell Ofcom they want more local news and programmes. There is even another element of subsidy. A spare channel has also been allocated to the emerging local television network that could be rented out to raise some money. The fibre network linking all the stations to a central hub in Birmingham has already been successfully constructed by Comex UK and the first station in Grimsby is due to launch next month.
Ask viewers whether they want more local TV and they always say yes and then don’t watch it
There will be a buzz as station after station goes on air, particularly when London Live, the Independent-owned 24-hours-a-day station, launches in the Spring. Sixty new jobs are being created – although there have been 27 redundancies at the Independent itself, partly to pay for the new venture. The business dream of Independent owner Alexander Lebedev is clear. You leverage four streams of revenue – the Indy, the i, the Evening Standard and London Live off a largely shared pool of talented journalists and you get more than the sum of the parts. In the case of London Live there will be lots of entertainment to supplement the news coverage and there will be more than 16 hours of original programming a day. In London with the weight of the Indy and the Evening Standard behind it can there be any doubt of eventual success?
cross the country 12 million largely urban homes will be able to receive the new channel and advertisers will pay attention to that, won’t they? Who would not wish all the aspiring local television operators well as they set out on their great adventure? There are, however, a few small problems to be overcome. Ask viewers whether they want more local TV and they always say ‘yes’ and then don’t watch it. Advertisers say they want more competition and more TV outlets and then don’t support them. To the extent that local TV gains advertising revenue it will come from the already challenged local media. The quality of the local stations will be judged against the quality of channels adjacent on the electronic programme guide – like BBC Two. The time to assess viability won’t be next month or in the Spring. It will be in three years when the subsidies start to run out. By any standards it is a very courageous business venture anywhere apart from, and maybe even including, London.
For the latest updates from Raymond Snoddy on Twitter go to @raymondsnoddy theJournalist | 17
uring the 1980s, I covered the struggle against Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile for the international press. At that time, it was very difficult for both local and foreign journalists to be visible on the streets, since the regime repressed all acts of dissent, and attempted to conceal from the outside world what was happening in the big prison that the country had become. In 1974, I left my native Uruguay as an exile of our own dictatorship after having spent many months in illegal detention centres following my arrest for supporting the banned Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition against the de facto regime. After my release, I came to Britain and assisted Amnesty International and other human rights groups as a translator and interpreter. The majority of refugees from Latin America at the time were from Chile, and I became acquainted with many political exiles who had escaped persecution from the junta’s henchmen. A few years later, after I had studied Documentary Photography at Newport University and become a photojournalist, I visited Chile on many occasions to record the resistance against the regime. It was 18 | theJournalist
A camera crew under attack in Santiago
Julio Etchart on the coup that ended the Pinochet regime only made possible thanks to the hospitality of the friends and relatives of the Chilean exiles I had met in London. They bravely put me up and took me around to photograph and interview the various individuals and grassroots organisations which were actively struggling against Pinochet. The International Women’s Day, in March 1985, was a turning point in that period when a group of brave women defied the curfew imposed by the military and went to downtown Santiago to demand freedom for the political detainees and a halt to the rising cost of living, and to press for information about the fate of those who had disappeared during the coup a decade earlier. The brutal response of the security services who assaulted them with rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas, were registered in the images I took, along with the TV coverage, and gave their plight an international audience for the first time. It put the case of Chile back on the radar of the press. I returned regularly to Chile, commissioned by British and
The atrocity of Pinochet’s coup on September 11, 1973, has been forgotten by many
international newspapers and also by the growing number of NGOs that were by then working in the poblaciones (shantytowns) of Santiago and other cities where local popular groups were resisting the government. The ongoing struggle kept putting pressure on Pinochet. He called for a referendum in 1988 and lost it, paving the way for democratic elections the following year. The ‘NO’ campaign against the dictator was the culmination of years of resistance, and, at last, I was able to mix publicly with the international media who arrived in the country to document that momentous event. Amnesty International campaigned actively against human rights abuses under Pinochet and in 1988 commissioned an exhibition of my photographs to use in its advocacy work. Last month it hosted an updated version of the original display at the organisation’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch, London. Since the attack on New York’s Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, the date ‘9/11’ has been associated with those terrible events. That the earlier atrocity of Pinochet’s coup happened on the same day, 28 years previously, has been forgotten by many.
Making history in war and PR Richard Evans has written a biography of a journalist who became a pioneer
nasmuch as he is remembered today, Basil Clarke is known as the father of UK public relations, an industry that has had a huge – and, many would argue, negative – effect on journalism. But by the time Clarke created history by becoming the UK’s first public relations officer in 1917, he had already established himself as one of the era’s most remarkable journalists. He had fallen into journalism by accident. He was in a Manchester hotel in 1903 when he heard three men trying to sing a Gilbert and Sullivan quartet and had joined in as the fourth voice; once they had finished, one of the men told him he was a newspaper editor and asked him to write an article on musical appreciation. This proved an unlikely launching pad for a successful career at the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Mail, where Lord Northcliffe took to calling him ‘my pig-headed Lancashire man’. But like many reporters of his generation, it was the First World War that came to define him. Initially, Clarke’s experience of the war was unremarkable. While other journalists reported on the fighting, he was assigned to the Government’s Press Bureau in Charing Cross. It was a role that frustrated him, as the Press
Bureau became known as the ‘Suppress Bureau’ for proving to be more interested in censoring news than in supplying it. But then on October 15, 1914, everything changed. Clarke was urgently called back from the Press Bureau and on arriving at the Daily Mail office was told the Germans were about to take Ostend in Belgium and that he was to go there straight away. War reporting has always been challenging, but working as a war correspondent in the first few months of the First World War was especially difficult because they were banned from the Front. But it is to the credit of the independent-minded nature of the press that a number of reporters simply ignored the ban, using their guile to get to the war zone and send news back to London. Dozens were arrested and sent home. Clarke used subterfuge to get to Dunkirk, where he lived as what he called a ‘journalistic outlaw’ until January 1915. By the time he was forced to return home, he was one of just two journalists left in the war zone. During those three months, he provided almost daily reports on the fighting and scored a world exclusive when he was the first reporter to reach the centre of Ypres following the German bombardment of November 1914. There was also much more to his career as a war reporter than his time as a journalistic outlaw. He would go on to get the first reports out from Dublin following the Easter Rising;
Lord Northcliffe took to calling him ‘my pig-headed Lancashire man’
report on the Eastern Front; and cause a huge global scandal by accusing the Government of failing to enforce its blockade of Germany. Then after leaving the Daily Mail he became an accredited reporter for Reuters and the Press Association at the Battle of the Somme. But while Clarke had found living under the constant fear of arrest a nightmare, for the rest of his life he would have a special nostalgia for the time he spent as a journalistic outlaw. “Flanders seems afar now,” he wrote some 20 years later, “its worries and discomforts all faded and remote. There remains supreme over all other things, that exulting thing, the quest for which made reporters of us and will continue throughout time to make reporters – that feeling of life lived; life sought out and faced; life hot, strong and undiluted; the male animal’s conception of romance.” http://www.amazon.co.uk/FromFrontline-Extraordinary-BasilClarke/dp/0752494295 theJournalist | 19
rise and rise of mobile reporting
Rosie Niven on the latest trends and kit
his summer a leading American journalist donated the iPhone 3S on which he recorded the events of the Arab Spring on to the Smithsonian Museum. The gesture by National Public Radio’s Andy Carvin illustrated how much mobile technology has moved on since the spring of 2011, when. journalists could shoot in high definition, edit and send broadcastready video and audio packages back to newsrooms via 3G in minutes. Now, 4G enabled devices let journalists do things that seemed impossible even two years ago. Media organisations have responded by investing heavily in mobile technology. Last year, the company that owns USA Today issued reporters and photographers with the iPhone 4S, totalling around 1,000 handsets. And the BBC has built its own app called PNG (Portable Newsgathering) which allows its journalists to file audio, video or stills straight into news servers. Now, journalists can broadcast live via a smartphone. Sky News in the UK has started experimenting with this through the app Dejero Live, which takes 3G and wifi and bonds them together to strengthen the signal,
preview thinglink Thinglink, a tool used to create interactive images,
gained a fan base when the Berliner Morgenpost used it to enrich the images taken in the White House during the raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden. In the UK, the Guardian’s music team used it to great effect in its Fact Checking the Famous infographic series. Despite its many possibilities for embedded maps and infographics, the use of Thinglink by media organisations has been surprisingly limited.
20 | theJournalist
Now 4G enabled devices let journalists do things that seemed impossible even two years ago
Indeed, I only heard of it when a fellow journalist posted a picture of his colleagues on Twitter into which were embedded YouTube clips of their work. This struck me as a great use of the tool, so I decided to try it out. On the desktop version you can upload photos and import them from Facebook and Flickr or elsewhere on the internet. To create your interactive image, Thinglink opens the image in a window. You then click where you want to put your tag, add the media or link you want to embed with a brief description and then save. The tags you can add to the image include Twitter handles, images,
ensuring that the pictures are of a consistent quality. The channel’s news correspondent Nick Martin has been seeking a way to broadcast live from a smartphone for more than two years. His recent reports on the case of two women accused of drug smuggling in Peru gave Martin the opportunity to test how the latest mobile technology could perform. Knowing that they would not be able to use a satellite link, Martin and his team were entirely reliant on an iPhone, the Dejero Live app and a tripod to provide a stable picture. They broadcast live for seven days, including a short notice court appearance. While other broadcasters were unable to get a satellite link, Sky News broadcast the whole hearing live using only a mobile phone. Martin says another advantage was the ease of transporting the devices, compared with sending three or four large cases of satellite equipment on a plane. “This technology is so new. You always learn from it each time you use it.” Sky News’ reports from Lima prove that mobile technology can be used to broadcast live, but despite this Martin says this set-up is no substitute for satellite systems and broadcast engineers.
video, audio, text and links. Using it on the browser in Firefox for Mac, I noticed a slight glitch. When you first upload a picture, the site hangs, but if you save the photo you can reopen and edit it as normal. I did not notice this problem on a PC. When your project is finished you can share on social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest or embed it in a web page. You also can follow other users and receive notifications when someone clicks on any of the tags embedded in your media. Thinglink was made available to iOS users earlier this year; an Android app is not yet available .
Stephanie Power is a freelance broadcast journalist in Liverpool
the nuj and me What made you become a journalist? I had been working as a press officer, for Refuge and then the TUC. I wanted to see what it was like on the other side. I wanted to ask the questions for a change! I did an MA at Westminster University (part-time and part-funded by the TUC) and then got my first job in journalism – as a producer at The World At One, Radio 4.
What other job might you have done? It would have been something political or policy related, I think.
Your worst career moment?
I joined the NUJ when I started at the TUC. Everyone in the department was in the union, and it seemed more specialist than my union at the time.
Are many of your friends in the union? Pretty much all of my BBC friends are in either the NUJ or BECTU. Freelance filmmaker friends tend not to be. I think this is one of the big problems for unions, they’re not reaching young freelances. My grandad was also in the NUJ. He did sports writing for the Worksop Guardian
What’s been your best moment in your career? Lots of fun moments. But perhaps the variation has been the best thing. I’ve worked for charities, for the TUC, Radio 4 – news and documentaries, Five Live, and most recently worked on two TV documentaries as part of the BBC’s Religion and Ethics department. The first on the impact of the Hillsborough
And villain? My favourite villain is the man who plays Moriarty in the new Sherlock Holmes.
I always think inviting six heroes to dinner would be very intimidating. I’d like to have dinner with George Orwell and get him to agree to present a programme looking at austerity today. I think the BBC would commission that. In fact you could do a series – Bill Shankly on football, Nye Bevan on the NHS, William Wilberforce on multiculturalism, Kitty Wilkinson on foodbanks and Oscar Wilde on celebrity culture.
Getting sacked was pretty bad – but it’s all worked out nicely since.
What is the worst place you’ve ever worked in?
All the people who have campaigned, and continue to campaign, for the truth about Hillsborough.
Which six people (alive or dead) would you invite to a dinner party?
And in the union? Getting invaluable support from the union when I was sacked from a job in a commercial radio station. I was sacked before I even started, quite an achievement. But I had just moved out of London and would have been at a complete loss if it hadn’t been for the NUJ’s help.
When did you join the NUJ and why?
lies on families, survivors, football fans and Liverpool, and the second on the rise of Muslim footballers in the Premier League.
Who is your biggest hero?
A very different family to TUC
What was your earliest political thought?
And the best?
I remember enrolling as a brownie and being told to say that I would promise to serve the Queen. I thought that was a bit odd, and I wondered how I was supposed to do it.
I’ve been freelance for six years now but have continued to work both for the BBC and the TUC. It’s like being part of two very different families.
What are your hopes for journalism over the next five years?
What advice would you give someone starting in journalism?
It would be great if there were an increase in investigative work. It’s time consuming and costly, but really important.
The worst place I NEVER worked in was probably that commercial radio station!
Don’t let people put you off if you really want to do it. No industry is easy at the moment.
What advice would you give a new freelance? It’s really worth having some staff work under your belt if you can get it. I think that gives you more options when you are freelance
Bill Shankly in a series
And fears? That money gets tighter and work gets tougher.
How would you like to be remembered? Fondly.
theJournalist | 21
Arts with attitude Some of the best things to see and do with a bit of political bite For listings email: journalist@NUJ.org.uk
indepth smart art A look at the art form that it’s not elitist to appreciate
ith Take a tour w
22 | theJournalist
y d photograph Street Art an
The Christmas rush is coming. Get your book orders in now to beat the charge for seasonal presents for political mates
his father’s role in the genocidal pogrom. But, as they soon discover, the path leads inexorably back to that day at the train station. www.bloomsbury.com
Books Helium Jaspreet Singh Bloomsbury £15.29 (hardback) £7.19 (paperback) eBook £14.99 On 1 November 1984, a day after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, a nineteen-year-old student, Raj, travels back from a class trip with his mentor, Professor Singh. As the group disembarks at Delhi station a mob surrounds the professor, throws a tyre over him, douses him in petrol and sets him alight. Years later, after moving to the United States, Raj finds himself compelled to return to India to find his professor’s widow. As the two walk through the mountains of Shimla, painful memories emerge, and Raj realises he must face the truth about
The Media and Public Shaming – Drawing the Boundaries of Disclosure Julian Petley I.B.Tauris £17.99 Julian, the co-chair of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and a member of the editorial board of the British Journalism Review, deals with the particularly topical subject in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at News International and the subsequent Leveson Inquiry. He brings together contributions from experts in the field who focus on old and new media and examines the practice of ‘public shaming’ especially of celebrities and politicians and considers the media’s right to expose people’s private lives ‘in the public interest’. www.ibtauris.com
Street art in the UK is a collector’s dream. Getting the right guide is a great way of finding out what to collect Thanks mainly to Banksy and a number of London-based street artists who are now highly collectable in the gallery art world, the UK is now a global centre of excellence for street art. London street artist and gallery owner D*Face was a key player in establishing the street art scene in London in the early 2000s. As a freelance illustrator and youthful skateboarder, he and a few kindred spirits kicked off a curious hybrid partway between illegal rave and art show opening. Banksy was drawn into these street art raves in the early days. D*Face and Banksy both entered the fine art and auction house world on the back of galleries and print houses they set up themselves. Many British street artists decorated London walls and a huge number of internationally acclaimed artists such as Shepard Fairey, Swoon and more recently ROA became London regulars. Street Art became the art form it wasn’t elitist to like. Prolific media coverage led to fantastic public interest in the phenomenon, not to mention a huge scene collecting and trading art by the highly prized street art stars. 2006 saw London’s very first street art tours, focussed on finding Banksy’s art. With hindsight we can say they caught the peak of his London street art campaign. The next street art tours were a charity venture by two scene photographers and
writers HowAboutNo and NoLionsInEngland, with all proceeds going to an artist led cancer charity event. NoLionsInEngland, who now runs Shoreditch Street Art Tours in between teaching street art photography and exhibiting his own photographs, says that people are hugely interested in seeing the political aspects of street art. “People are amazed at more diverse forms of street art such as the sculptural bronze castings of environmental artist Jonesy. The art is available to be seen for free but visitors really benefit from accurate insights into artists’ identity, techniques and motivation which a tour with a specialised guide can give.” Bristol, Banksy’s home town, has a rich street art culture and there are organised tours to show the Banksy murals that remain as well as the various rising stars in the Bristol street art scene. There are healthy concentrations of street art in Liverpool Newcastle. Glasgow School of Art threatened postgraduate Australian artist Peter Drew with expulsion if he continues to put his locally popular street art up on the streets. In these cities it is not easy to find scheduled street art tours, so direct contact with a local gallery or scene photographer may lead to a bespoke private walk. Street Art tours around the UK include: London – www.shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk Bristol – http://www.wherethewall.com/bristolstreet-art-walking-tours Manchester – http://skylinertours.tumblr.com/
arts The House of Journalists Tim Finch Jonathan Cape £16.99 A fashionable house in a London terrace, the House of Journalists is renowned around the world as a place of refuge for exiled writers who have fallen foul of oppressive regimes. Run by Julian Snowman, successful writer and broadcaster, its fellows include the newspaper editor Mr Stan whose hands were smashed with hammers; and Sonny, who endured a harrowing journey to safety. Only one man guards his story: the new fellow, AA. A first novel, The House of Journalists creates a world of displacement and hubris, heartbreak and humour, beguiling and disturbing. www.randomhouse.co.uk Palestiniana Garry Cook Amazon £1.99 (Kindle edition) Photojournalist Gary Cook travelled to the West Bank and in an eye-opening five day trip, got caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Invited to attend Palestine National Youth Week, he ended up in a series of activism events which increasingly raised tensions with the Israeli army, culminating in an unexpected dinner date with the Palestinian Military General on the night of a series of devastating bombing raids. It’s a wry account, with many pictures, of farcical events and the serious reality of life in the region. www.amazon.co.uk
The Fifth Estate, the story of Wikileaks
Theatre The Secret Agent Northern Stage, Newcastle October 16 – 19. £14.50 Secret terror cells, political conspiracy, police bungling, state-sponsored bomb plots. This is London 1896. Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s classic novel. The Secret Agent is a heartbreaking but hilarious chronicle of passion, betrayal and terrorism. Set at a time of social upheaval and growing disparity between rich and poor, at the heart of this tale is a woman fighting to protect her young brother from exploitation and violence. www.northernstage.co.uk
Films The Fifth Estate Touchstone Pictures This tells the story of the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organisation. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. They create a platform that allows whistleblowers to leak covert data anonymously, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Very soon, they are breaking more hard news than all the world’s most legendary media organisations combined. But when they gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in American history, they face a defining question of the current age: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society and what are the costs of exposing them? www.waltdisneystudios.com
Exiled writers in the House of Journalists
preview Passion, betrayal and terrorism in The Secret Agent
Exhibitions Jonathan Yeo Portraits National Portrait Gallery Until January 2014. Free entry This display reveals the fascinating range of subjects who have sat for the artist Jonathan Yeo. Sitters have been selected from the world of politics, media and the arts and include Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch, William Hague, Damien Hirst, and Kevin Spacey in his role as Richard III, Grayson Perry as Claire, Michael Parkinson and Jude Law. www.npg.org.uk Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013 Tate Liverpool 8 November – 2 February Art Turning Left examines how the production and reception of art
has been influenced by leftwing values, from the French Revolution to the present day. Values such as collectivism, equality and alternative economies have influenced the making of art and visual culture, from the way William Morris organised his production line to the anonymity of the designers of the Atelier Populaire posters in Paris 1968. www.tate.org.uk
The scandal of BSE Losing a child is every mother’s worst nightmare. For NUJ
member Christine Lord, the nightmare was compounded by the fact that her son Andrew died aged just 24 of VcJD, the human variant of BSE (‘mad cow disease’). Who Killed My Son? is Christine’s riveting account of her six-year investigation into Andrew’s death and the wider issue of how BSE passed from animals to humans during the 1980s. She discovered that the public had been lied to time and again, that vital scientific evidence had been supressed and that government inquiries had been misled. This was a scandal that went right to the top of British politics, industry and agriculture. Furthermore, VcJD remains a huge risk today because millions were exposed at the time and the incubation period is long. While researching the book, Christine received a number of threats to her safety, but was not deterred from seeking out the truth. Who Killed My Son? is at once a page-turning thriller and an urgent piece of investigative journalism that should be read by anyone who cares about the food they eat, the politicians they elect and the scientists they place their trust in. Who Killed My Son? is available now as an ebook from Amazon. Food for thought
theJournalist | 23
assemblies matter In your feature on media centres, Cardiff is particuarly interesting as apparently lying on the print boundary between failure and success. In Cardiff’s Assembly office, you have both the morning Western Mail and the very interesting example of the Daily Post, the regional editions of the deceased Liverpool morning of yore. The Mail editor even told an Assembly committee that he failed to ‘recognise’ the prognostications of gloom that emanated from a member of Cardiff University school of journalism. Even though this was followed by the closure of mornings in Birmingham, Liverpool Sheffield, Nottingham, Leamington and Brighton. And still with us are the mornings of Plymouth, Norwich, Ipswich, Bristol, Leeds, Darlington and Newcastle. What keeps these going is distance from London. But surely most important is the difference of regional assemblies, thus something to report on. Wales has lost its regional ‘national’ editions (except perhaps in sport), with their disappearance from the Express and the old Herald (present Sun). The print world may be getting smaller. But Cardiff may have become a stopping point – and questions need to be asked whether those oft-derided assemblies may be a reason why both Cardiff and the Welsh side of Liverpool survived. Clive Betts Caerffili
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH In praise of Mike Smith How heartening to see Mike Smith still going strong in your last issue (NUJ and Me). Mike was my first editor at Guild Gazette, the student paper at Liverpool University. He gave me my first byline, on a review of the Kubrick film 2001. I wonder if he remembers the edition that came out with a blank front page because the copy had been censored by the Vice-Chancellor. Students could still read the story because we gave it away in a samizdat version with the paper. Nice to see Mike still banging the drum for journalism and the NUJ. Lawrence McGinty Science and Medical Editor ITV News
Are you in health journalism? Join the MJA! I read Alan Taman’s feature on health reporting with interest and agree that 24 | theJournalist
to report well on health and medicine a journalist (and PR) does need a level of specialist knowledge. Many of the UK’s specialist health and medical journalists belong to the Medical Journalists’ Association, including Shaun Lintern, who Taman quotes extensively. Shaun was winner of the staff consumer journalist of the year in 2012 and was nominated for the professional media staff journalist in this summer’s awards. The MJA was founded in 1967 as an independent professional organisation for those who write, edit or produce material on health or medicine in the media; there are now more than 400 members. We exist to support and encourage journalists working in health or medicine to work efficiently and at high levels of accuracy. Our winter and summer awards recognise excellence among health journalists.
I’d encourage any journalists working in health to visit our website http:// www.mjauk.org/ to see how joining us can help them overcome the feeling they’re working in isolation. Maya Anaokar MJA Vice Chair and NUJ member (PR & Comms Branch)
No leftwing takeover and no baby boomers here Francis Beckett repeats the ludicrous claims by Bernard Levin and his friends in 1976 that there had been ‘a takeover’ of the London Freelance Branch by the left and that branch meetings had ‘always struggled to get a quorum’. In fact, as I pointed out in a letter to the Spectator in April 1977, the three senior officers in the branch including the chairman (as the late Anne Bolt was still called in those old, far-off
days) were not particularly leftwing; the ‘left’ had at most six members of the 15-strong committee. And according to the branch minutes book, attendance at the 11 meetings held in 1975 varied between 42 and 85 and averaged 54.5. Beckett also blames what he calls ‘baby boomers’ for taking control of the unions. But as I point out in the latest edition of English for Journalists, ‘baby boomer’ is an American cliché that has no meaning in the British context. There was no post-war ’baby boom’ here. Wynford Hicks Vice-chairman, London Freelance Branch, 1975
Was Francis Beckett really being serious? As someone who was involved in both the provincial newspapers strike of 1978-79 (NB not 1977-78 as reported last month) and the campaign for abortion rights, can I be sure that the views attributed to Francis Beckett in the last issue of the Journalist are really his own and that he is not: a) looking for votes b) looking for a shag or c) having a gun held to his head? Jean Gray London
Oxford Dictionary not afraid of monstered I’m rather disappointed by Barry Seddon’s blinkered, pedantic attitude to the ongoing evolution of the English language, in particular Michelle Stanistreet’s use of ‘monstered’ in a recent article. Given that the Oxford Dictionary defines the (admittedly ‘informal’) verbal use of the word as meaning ‘to criticise or reprimand severely”, his suggestion that the word is our esteemed General Secretary’s invention is utterly ridiculous. Though no more ridiculous than suggesting that her usage of it in the article was unclear. Alas, as he seems proud to point out that he’s a life member, I can only assume that Mr Seddon is, unfortunately, showing the linguistic inflexibility of old age. Along with, it
must be said, a shockingly twisted sense of priorities concerning the important issues facing the journalistic profession. Paul F Cockburn Edinburgh
Monstered on the doorsteps for years Am I the only one surprised by Barry Seddon’s unfamiliarity with the verb ‘monster’? Agreed, it’s an ugly word for what can be the sort of thing that gets us a bad name. But I’ve heard it on a number of doorsteps over the years – it’s certainly not newly coined by Michelle Stanistreet. Martin Lewes Kendal, Cumbria.
Let’s go back to the future with Keith Waterthouse Looking for a read recently I came upon (Keith) Waterhouse On Newspaper Style – a book that should be read by every journalist writing in English. The Waterhose classic is based on his Daily Mirror days and its style. But it was recommended by many publishers of the day including Medicine Today,
which said “it could not only benefit doctors but also their frequently baffled patients”, and quickly established itself as a standard work on journalism courses. It’s a great read anyway, so modern it would help facebookers and tweeters. A copy should be presented to all new recruits to the NUJ by our union. On ‘journalese’, he writes “sparingly used (it) can be helpful but in large doses can be clammy and claustrophobic as the readers struggles to extricate themselves from a morass of moves, clampdowns, crackdowns, pledges, clashes and stalemates”. He says that “No story ever lost impact by being told in plain English” Roy Jones Colwyn Bay branch.
Clarifying the guidelines on charity tax relief As a tax writer, I couldn’t help noticing that the NUJ Extra advert where it mentions Gift Aid tax relief (Journalist August/September p25) is incorrect. The HMRC website shows that a £5 donation would be worth £6.25 to the charity. So our gifts are more useful
Please keep letters to 200 words maximum
than the 25p extra that is shown. “Gift Aid is an easy way to help your charity or CASC maximise the value of its donations. You can reclaim tax from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the ‘gross’ equivalent of donations, their value before tax was deducted at the basic rate, currently 20 per cent. You can work out the amount of tax you can reclaim by dividing the amount donated by four. This means that for every £1 donated, you can claim an extra 25 pence. http://www.hmrc.gov. uk/charities/gift_aid/basics.htm I thought that this might simply be a misprint in the artwork, but found that the tax information on the NUJ Extra website also needs updating. Perhaps someone could take a look at: http:// www.nujextra.org.uk/donate.html However, it has reminded me of the need to give to the charity – and that is the most important thing. I know that it does a huge amount of good work for members – including one in Book Branch recently who received an enormous amount of support when it was most needed.” Sylvia Courtnage Book Branch
Email your letters to: email@example.com Post them to: The Editor, The Journalist 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road London WC1X 8DP
Are you disabled and feeling the reform axe? Many people did not, and some people still do not, fully appreciate the gravity and the impact of these socalled reforms of the 2010 Spending Review. Some people have been shellshocked in that the benefits they had depended on were taken away at one fell swoop. You could, suddenly, be left unsupported and no longer able to do your job because you have no accessible transport and your working tax credits and council tax benefits might evaporate. You might not fulfill the criteria for Employment Support Allowance and there is nowhere to apply for help because the advice centres have been closed. One important point that people, including journalist colleagues, often miss is that DLA enables disabled people to work. If you are disabled, please let the Disabled Members Council know the effect the changes are having on you at LenaC@nuj.org.uk Eleanor Lisney, Disabled Members Council
theJournalist | 25
Damian’s dark arts master class Chris Proctor takes a wry look at the workings of journalism
when he was Once I worked with Alan Johnson re his decline befo n unio ’ kers wor leader of the postal Chancellor. The into Home Secretary and Shadow principle of a single union was stoutly defending the in the UK – here tariff for delivering a letter anyw erence asked conf s pres a when some nosy parker at r from lette a g erin deliv of what was the real cost ulted. cons We s. land High tish London to the Scot incts inst nalistic A tenner was his bid, but my jour . ised prom inclined towards 20 quid. Alan com duly was This . ‘Fifteen pounds,’ he declared ia. Royal Mail didn’t reported the following day’s med the single tariff d orte supp it challenge it because ps kept quiet as they system; regulators and user grou £15 became a fac.t had no more evidence than us. So ghed nonplou referred to long after both of us postal furrows. aide of Alan’s Years later I was contacted by an papers arch rese the have d to ask if he coul having day, that r Late re. figu the up to back back the ed emptied the contents, I despatch of a fag packet to the DTI. And, of course, we all invent quotes for those for whom we work. I once told a journalist that Dave y, said Ward, CWU deputy general secretar gs than strin re ‘mo had a Royal Mail pay offer ght thou I h whic a’, estr Orch the Philharmonic tion men to n otte forg have t mus I quite droll. pub quiz this to Dave and when he was at a te, he quo and was asked who had said the
dn’t nlike any reasonable person, I coul cs anti nt rece the at help but chuckle was of Damian McBride. The episode start s, tion rela lic pub in s clas ter a mas to finish. ictably enough, with a press aide pred n It bega of his corn-provider identifying or inventing enemies es. From his nam r thei and setting out to darken dropped a few he ce, sour ble position as an impecca surised to pres too sts nali jour of words in the ears ‘facts’ emerged. bother about validation, and thus trousers round Then Damian was caught with his , and given uths untr his ankles peddling blatant be distressed ld wou guru PR his P45. Anyone but a until his low lie to ing tend ts, at this turn of even lic memory. pub the from ed slipp had ns transgressio ead, he gave Inst t. But this is not the way with his craf peting trum g, airin h his misdemeanours a thoroug l Mai y Dail the for es piec them first in a series of at the on pois ‘the ion ript desc the where he basked in heart of Labour’. publication Naturally, a book followed and its erence where conf y coincided with the Labour Part rise at the surp his of Damian assured everyone sincere his ed ress exp and reaction to his story e Labour don have may ion licat pub concern that its imental detr not any harm. The timing was, happily, to sales of the book. of littering, It’s like a vicar in the dock accused te he’d also istra mag the ng and confidentially telli es, sodomised ladi old ed aud defr ks, robbed a few ban and hoped none of poodles, sold drugs to choirboys the reputation of this would reflect unfavourably on the church. rged from Marvellously, though, Damian eme scandal and ge, erfu subt ity, oral this morass of imm a Christian aid ignominy to pick up a top job with ome! charity! That’s what I call a PR outc aps I should perh Whilst in confessional mood, e were not trad PR the mention that my days in But at least I n. latio imu diss entirely untainted by made up facts.
26 | theJournalist
didn’t know. quote. Sometimes I’d even bargain for a ndescent inca was man r you say ‘Would you with rage?’ ‘I’m not sure I’d say incandescent.’ ’s quote, ‘If you do, it’s sharper than Bob Crow par.’ a up so I could move you ‘Oh. In that case I suppose he’s a bit ghts, incandescent. Yes, on second thou reflection. fair very a be ld wou t’ scen nde ‘inca er?’ head a What would he have to be for with d pare com f But this is pathetic stuf , my truth/ back ing Look . ents Damian’s achievem arrassment, their falsehood ratio during is an emb e. tedious veracity a slur on the trad could be If I’d only lied with more vigour, I . now working for the Vatican
NUJ CODE OF CONDUCT Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles
A JOURNALIST: 1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed.
and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge.
2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.
9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies. 4 Differentiates between fact and opinion. 5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means. 6 Does nothing to intrude into anybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest. 7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work. 8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information,
10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed. 11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare. 12 Avoids plagiarism. The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code.
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