Mark Watts, one of the candidates campaigning for the NUJ Journalist magazine and website editorship, has issued a statement to 19,000 of the union’s members claiming to ‘expose’ another candidate Rich Simcox as a member of the NUJ Left, arguing that this section of the NUJ ‘is trying to hijack the union from its members’.
However, scepticism over whether Simcox’s allegiance was much of a secret has already been raised by Jon Slattery on his blog:
“Watts names the NUJ Left candidate as Rich Simcox. But is this such a shocking revelation? Simcox told me when I revealed he was standing in the election on September 3 that he had the support of the NUJ Left and I reported the fact here in the second paragraph of the story.“Watts, however, alleges that Simcox has not revealed his NUJ Left backing in his election material. His email ends dramatically: ‘Lance the boil. Save the NUJ’. Simcox told me today: “I didn’t realise it was such a secret. It comes up fourth when you Google my name.”
Journalism.co.uk has contacted Rich Simcox for a response to Watts’ statement, in the meantime, please leave your thoughts below this post. What questions would you like to ask Watts or Simcox?
We’ve created a special section of our bulletin board for you to quiz the would-be editors on their plans for the union title and why they should take the helm. It’s already very active, with numerous responses from six of the eight candidates. Add your question by posting a new topic on the forum at this link or by emailing us at laura or judith [at] journalism.co.uk.
Mark Watts statement as follows: