Via AllMediaScotland we learn that NUJ Scotland is launching a campaign against the non-professional sports reporters the organisation considers a “creeping menace”.
According to the NUJ Scotland Campaigns site, the campaign – ‘Kick the amateurs into touch!’ – will “target sports desks who regularly hire teachers, policemen and other non-journalists to report on sports events across Scotland”.
When freelances are losing work because of cut-backs and staff journalists are being made redundant it is a scandal that sports editors are using their own version of “fans with lap-tops” without the journalistic skills and traditions that help maintain standards and ethics in the industry.
The union is writing to sports editors, the SPL and Scottish League for support as well as the Sports Ministers in Holyrood and Westminster to help us reclaim ground for the professional writers and photographers.
Regular freelances who are still fortunate to hang onto their work are fed up sitting beside this gang of “citizen journalists” who are queering our pitch. They are concerned at falling standards and rates of shift payments driven down by cheap labour.
But the first respondents on the AMS site are sceptical. One commenter remarks:
“What matters is the quality of the report. If an enthusiastic amateur is better than an NUJ hack then tough. As usual protectionism is the way an industry goes down. The newspaper trade is on a downward slope look at the figures. The internet is going to wipe newspapers out, even TV is being hit. It is called change and progress. The costs of the internet are much less than newspapers. When new technology appears things change and there is nothing the NUJ can do about it.
(Hat-tip: Jon Slattery)