Survey shows Covid-19 toll on NUJ members

working from home or the office, and no doubt meetings and interviews via video conferencing packages will continue. Troughout this difficult year the union has been there for its members and we’ll continue to support anyone facing unreasonable pressure from employers or who needs support in doing their job.”

Te NEC heard that it has been a busy Photographer Andy Aitchison’s arrest nightmare. Full story on page 7

It is a year since all our worlds were turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic and consequential lockdowns.

Te union’s national executive council

heard the results of an all-members’ survey which showed that virtually everyone who took part found their work situation was now completely different. It has been a tough time for many. For the most part, the viewers,

listeners, readers and all those hungry for news, books and journalism will not have noticed the difference as media workers adapted to the new situation – broadcasting from sheds, interviewing by Zoom, using long booms and reporting from the box room or kitchen table. It has been a year when trustworthy and quality journalism has been at a premium. Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary, said: “We should be proud of ourselves and the work members have done throughout the pandemic. However, our

Also in this issue:

Michelle’s Message Page 2

survey shows that it has taken its toll. Te union spent most of the summer dealing with redundancies and many of you told us you fear further job losses looming. “Juggling family life, home schooling and work, dealing with the challenges of being isolated, or having to shield, grieving for lost loved ones, and losing work and income, has led to half of our members saying they have mental health concerns. One in six have seen their earnings affected, with one in three saying they had lost half or more of their income. Many freelances found themselves not eligible for the government’s aid package, despite heavy lobbying by the NUJ and the government’s commitment to “put its arms around every worker”. “As the vaccinations roll out, hope is

growing that restrictions will be relaxed. But things will not be same – just under three-quarters of members said they looked forward to greater flexibility in

Members’ Survey Page 4

new year already for the union. On the last day of 2020, David Montgomery announced that his company National World had snapped up JPI Media and its 200 titles. On page 10, Ian Burrell looks at what could be in store for the newspaper group which includes the Scotsman, Yorkshire Post and the News Leter. As NUJ Informed went to press, the union was looking forward to the publication of the National Commitee for the Safety of Journalists’ action plan to protect journalists in the UK from abuse and violence. With recent threats to members in Northern Ireland and on the BBC’s Panorama team aſter a programme linking a mob leader and the boxing industry in Ireland, it will be timely.

Te union sprang into action to support Andy Aitchison, a freelance photographer wrongly arrested by Kent police when covering a protest at Napier Barracks asylum centre. Andy spoke to the NUJ (page 7) aſter action taken by the union resulted in him having his phone and camera card returned. Te union also spoke out to condemn the actions of a government minister in publicly atacking HuffPost reporter Nadine White, offering full support for our member who was subsequently trolled for having the temerity to pose legitimate questions to a minister. On page 7, she tells the NUJ what it is like for a woman of colour when reporting on social affairs and race.

David Montgomery Page 10

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