NUJ: Response from a Union Official

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

I have been given permission to publish this response from Jenny Lennox, assistant organiser at the NUJ. The e-mail was broadly agreeing with another member’s post which stated that the member hadn’t come across any journalist who don’t believe that good journalism can happen online, and that publishers aren’t investing enough. Her response was as follows:

I spend my days talking to journalists throughout the regional press, and they don’t have a gripe with the web, just with their employers and their crappy approach to it. I haven’t met a single “anti-web”.

We have got the debate all wrong, because we are allowing people to tell us what the union and journalists think who quite clearly haven’t got a clue. The debate is about properly resourced quality journalism vs money-grabbing bastards who think they can produce it in any format on the cheap.

This first appeared as an e-mail on the new media mailing list.

Comment: I think it’s a shame that this is the only public response we’ve had from an NUJ official, because it clearly misses the point. This dispute has never been about the NUJ not understanding the web or even new media, it’s about them not understanding (or engaging with) social media.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.