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‘This won’t be solved through recruitment alone': Your thoughts on the NUJ’s financial crisis

May 29th, 2012 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Journalism

Confirmation from the National Union of Journalists that it is facing insolvency has prompted journalists to suggest some ideas on how to improve the union’s situation.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said in an email to all members yesterday that “doing nothing is not an option” – and she asked members to encourage colleagues to join the union.

She said: “If no action is taken the union would face insolvency and the consequential prospect of a merger as soon as later this year.

“We have been here before, and the way out is by acting together in the collective interests of the union we are all passionate about.”

Journalist Leah Borromeo said the NUJ’s problems would not be solved through recruitment alone and that a merger with broadcasting union Bectu would reflect convergence in the wider media industry. Back in 2008, the NUJ looked at leaving its Headland House headquarters in London and sharing with Bectu, but nothing came of it.

Brian Whelan says not enough is being done to recruit graduates:

NUI Galway MA student Colette Sexton adds:

And Sheffield Uni MA student Luke Martin says the NUJ’s antiquated website isn’t helping:

However, Donnacha DeLong says improvements to the site are on the way:

One option being proposed is a five per cent rise in subscription rates. However, Telegraph journalist Jennifer O’Mahony suggests rethinking the membership fees structure altogether:

Any ideas? What would you do to improve the finances of the NUJ?

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NUJ ‘financial crisis': Leaked report in full

May 25th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Jobs

The National Union of Journalists is in ‘financial crisis’, a report leaked to Journalism.co.uk reveals.

Update 4.52pm: This document has been removed at the request of the NUJ.

 

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Bristol branch of NUJ to protest over Evening Post cuts

The Bristol branch of the National Union of Journalists is due to hold a peaceful demonstration later today following news that 20 jobs were at risk with publication of the Evening Post’s Saturday edition to be stopped from next month.

The protest will take place outside an exhibition marking 80 years of the Northcliffe Media’s title from 6.15pm outside the Galleries in Bristol. The union branch says it has received much support from the local community.

Last week NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the changes to the Evening Post were a “shock announcement”.

We call on the paper’s management to take steps to avoid job losses and enter into meaningful consultation with staff and their union representatives.

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Newspaper reporter: fifth worst job? US careers study seems to think so

April 11th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Jobs, Journalism

It is not as hard work as being a lumberjack, or as dangerous as working on an oil rig – but a US careers website has published a study claiming that being a newspaper reporter or broadcaster is one of the worst jobs going.

CareerCast.com looked at factors including stress, industry outlook, income levels and the general working environment to build a league table of 200 jobs. Newspaper reporter came 196th, just ahead of dairy farmers and soldiers. Broadcasters came 191st.

The site says: “Both jobs once seemed glamorous, but on-the-job stress, declining job opportunities and income levels are what landed them on our Worst Jobs list.”

One newspaper reporter told the site: “Today’s younger generation doesn’t seem to care about the news, and, if they do, it’s more about celebrities and Hollywood and not what’s going on in their backyards.”

Among the best jobs in the study were online advertising manager and software engineer.

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‘What would you do if Kelvin MacKenzie called you a c***?’ and other memorable job interview questions

January 5th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Funny, Jobs

In carrying out some research for a feature on CV and job interview tips, we asked on Twitter for memorable and tough questions asked at journalism job interviews.

Below is a Storify of the responses.

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NUJ invites News International journalists to meeting

November 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

The National Union of Journalists is due to hold a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 November) to discuss the recently announced cuts to editorial within the Times and Sunday Times, which is open to member and non-member freelance, casual and staff journalists at the publisher’s titles.

Last month the Times announced it was to cut around 100 staff from the newspapers’ editorial workforce, with the bulk of those said to be to casual staff. It was also confirmed that 20 compulsory redundancies are due to be made from full-time staff at the Sunday Times, which is cutting 30 per cent of its casual editorial workforce.

Following this announcement the NUJ set up a meeting, which is open to any staff who wish to seek advice. It will be held from 1 to 3pm at the Captain Kidd pub, 108 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE. The union has also invited representatives of the company’s in-house union NISA to attend if interested in working with the NUJ.

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Regional newspaper editor asks for job applications via Twitter

September 12th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Social media and blogging

Could you sell your skills as a journalist to a potential employer in just 140 characters? Because that is exactly what one editor is asking of potential new recruits.

Alan Geere, editor-in-chief of the Essex Chronicle Media Group and editorial director of Northcliffe Media South East, says he is “fed up of wading through turgid ‘letters of application’ and monstrous CVs”, so instead he is inviting applications for the latest journalism role at the title via Twitter.

In a blog post, Geere vents his frustration at receiving CVs from people he considers to be “would-be journalists who were obviously asleep during the class on intro writing”.

So in a bid to change this he is insisting anyone interested in the latest roles available at the publisher to respond via Twitter to his account @alangeere, giving them just 140 characters to explain what they can do and why they should be considered.

I keep getting told there is an over-supply of qualified people wanting to do journalism. Well, maybe there is but there’s definitely not an over-supply of people who are any good.

It’s an interesting tactic and should hopefully spark some creativity from some entrants, but I do wonder how much you can learn about a person in 140 characters? The other question is about those who wish to keep their application a secret, especially from their current employer/colleagues. I would assume direct messages are the answer here, but will of course require Geere to follow any of those recruits before they can demonstrate their abilities.

See his full blog post here and feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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Johnston Press strike breakers brag about newsroom antics on Facebook

Johnston Press journalists picket the offices of the South Yorkshire Times

Johnston Press in South Yorkshire are out on indefinite strike over planned redundancies at five titles in the region. (See more from Journalism.co.uk about the strike action at this link).

Management have come in for a lot of flak from the unions over their handling of the strike, which included asking a 16-year-old schoolboy on work experience to stay on an extra week and help cover the newsdesk.

Further embarrassment for the company comes in the form of Tom Bills and friend Jack Reed. Tom – the son of Johnston Press managing director John Bills – and Jack were drafted in to help out on the newsdesk of the Doncaster Free Press, according to NUJ deputy organiser for the region Lawrence Shaw, despite having no journalistic experience.

But rather than hide their faces away like strike breakers might normally do, ferried through a picket line on a bus with wire mesh on the windows, Tom and Jack publicised their newsroom antics on Facebook, for the world to see.

Shaw spotted the Facebook status updates and reposted them on his blog.

They include such gems from Tom as:

workin in a newsroom in doncaster, av been for a couple of weeks! Its reaaaaalllly goood!:) x

is it bad that I found the word ‘erection’ funny at work in a story about a building being built?!!:)

sooooo bored at work I’ve actually started look at the clock more than my computer screen.

Bored, but managing to get though it:

just thinkin of the dollar atm!

As, I’m sure, are the journalists out on strike with no pay.

And from Tom’s equally eloquent friend Jack:

nothing get a man erect like doncaster editorial. lets toss each other off.

And:

can u listen to ur ipod in a newsroom wen ur sposed to be workin?

Humorous yes, but as Shaw points out, the move raises questions about John Bills’ judgement:

Why did he employ his own son and his friend to work in editorial when neither appear to have any journalistic training or experience, then allow them to sarcastically spout forth on facebook belittling the newspapers he runs? It reinforces the belief held by the NUJ that John Bills cares not a jot about the editorial coverage in the newspaper, or even the reputation of the papers.

Had any ordinary NUJ member been caught mouthing off on facebook in the same way, they would have almost certainly been sacked for bringing the company into disrepute. So seeing as John Bills is ultimately responsible for employing his son to sit in the office and mouth off about how crap it is working at the Doncaster Free Press, surely Johnston Press directors should be seriously questioning his suitability for running a newspaper group.

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‘There’s no fat to cut away here': BBC Sussex staff join nationwide strikes

August 1st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Job losses, Jobs

BBC journalists in Brighton, hometown of Journalism.co.uk, are taking part in today’s nationwide strikes at the corporation over compulsory redundancies. Staff at BBC Radio Sussex formed a picket outside the station’s offices on Queen’s Road this morning (1 August) from 4am, leaving management to find non-union staff to present the station’s programmes.

The mid-morning show, which airs from 9am-12pm, was produced at the Sussex offices by stand-ins and broadcast simultaneously by BBC Kent Radio.

There are no compulsory redundancies proposed at BBC Sussex, but Paul Siegert, the NUJ rep for the region, told Journalism.co.uk this morning he feared that the implementation of BBC’s Delivering Quality First Strategy could lead to cuts at the station.

“We know that there is a thing that BBC management are looking at at the moment called DQF, which we call Destroying Quality Forever, which is going to mean that there will be 20 per cent cuts across the BBC, and so we are expecting that there will be job cuts in places like this if we don’t take action now.”

Danielle Glavin, Siegert’s deputy at the Sussex chapel and West Sussex reporter for the station, said: “We are just trying to protect the BBC, otherwise it will be desolated”.

John Lees, the station’s sports correspondent, was outside the BBC Sussex building at 4am this morning to begin the picket, about the time he would arrive for work. His part of the show was presented by another member of staff this morning. He said that no union members had crossed the picket line in Sussex, and that the staff were “standing firm” in today’s strike and in the indefinite work to rule beginning tomorrow.

“Either you’re an NUJ member or you’re not, and if you are you’ve got to support to strike. And we do.”

Also among the picketers was Kathy Caton, a World Service employee on a year’s attachment in Sussex. Caton is among those to have already been made compulsorily redundant, and would have been forced out of the BBC last month if she had still been working out of the World Service offices at Bush House, London. Because of her attachment to BBC Sussex, she has a stay of execution until next June.

She told Journalism.co.uk that there is “simply no fat to cut away” at the local station.

“Everything is done on such a tight ship, and to achieve the cuts that the BBC has planned means losing jobs, losing services and losing programmes.

“But there’s no slack here, people aren’t sitting around eating foie gras and swilling it down with champagne. It’s a tight ship.”

Caton will see out her attachment in Sussex until June next year, and then join the other World Service staff forced out by the cutbacks. The BBC intends to make 100 staff compulsorily redundant, out of a total of 387 job cuts across the World Service and BBC Monitoring.

She praised the World Service as “one of the finest things that the BBC is involved in”.

“What it produces versus its annual cost is extraordinary. To kill it off so fundamentally is something future generations will look back on and despair.”

The BBC has defended the need to make compulsory redundancies in order to achieve the savings set out by last year’s comprehensive spending review. Lucy Adams, the corporation’s director of business operations, said in a message to staff today that the corporation could not agree to the union’s demands for no compulsory redundancies.

“Following the cuts in central Government grants to the World Service and BBC Monitoring we have had to close 387 posts, meaning that regrettably there are nearly 100 staff who as a result are facing compulsory redundancy. We have been working with all these affected staff to ensure that they have opportunities for redeployment and retraining but we cannot and will not give preferential treatment to individuals depending on their union status.

“We hope the NUJ will realise that these issues are best solved at a local level, and a national strike that penalises all our audiences is not in the interests of their members, other BBC staff or licence fee payers.”

See more from Journalism.co.uk on industrial action and cuts at the BBC at this link.

Hear Rachel McAthy’s interview with Paul Siegert below:

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Will your next journalism job application be via LinkedIn’s new button?

LinkedIn has launched an ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button allowing companies to recruit using the social network.

Job seekers can then use the button to submit an application and are able to see other employees of the firm and make contact with them.

Prospective employers will be able to see your connections so this new functionality is another reason to get your LinkedIn profile in order and gather a good quality, rather than quantity, of contacts.

There are tips on how journalists can best use LinkedIn in this podcast, which includes advice for news organisations setting up profile pages.

The LinkedIn Blog states:

We’ve put an incredible amount of effort to rethink the job application process from end-to-end to make it a one-click submit for any professional. The first step was simple: put the functionality everywhere our members need it. That means packaging it as a simple button that you can recognise anywhere across the web. We’ve made this simple enough to implement so both  companies and developers can easily include it on their corporate websites.

Here is the code for adding the ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button.

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