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audits of members fees and payments would attract attention and was something that the title did publish in the past. The union’s range of events,


workshops and training courses is excellent but often requires you look below the fold to see what’s on offer. Imagery and highlighting which events, workshops and training are free to attend would help bolster numbers. Relevant membership offers, good


Alanna Gallagher


1. How can The Journalist better reflect the breadth and diversity of its membership? Through profiles of its audience the Journalist could reflect its membership and all the media platforms they work across. Members need to feel invested in


the title. In its campaigning role issues of the day should reflect what is happening within the workplace, for example, stories about gender inequality should be illustrated by the actual experiences of members writing these stories, although in reality these will most likely be anonymous. Each story should be accompanied by a sidebar that asks the question, what can the union do?


The publication also needs to define what it means by diversity. 2. What role do you see for The Journalist in promoting the industrial and campaigning work of the union as the voice of professional journalists in the UK and Ireland? Journalists are, by their very nature, very well-informed. The title needs to illustrate the union’s effectiveness using examples of how its industrial and campaigning work has been effective, listing the organisations involved, the benefits agreed and so on.


The title should also reflect the range of tasks journalists now do, to show all aspects of the profession from header writers to broadcasters and data crunchers and feature a wide range of ages. 3. How would you enhance the digital and online presence of The Journalist, in line with DM Policy? The publication already has an impressive number of followers on Twitter. It should continue its campaigning role. Evidence-based


32 | theJournalist


mortgage rates, life assurance, sick cover, tax advice etc so on could also be promoted. 4. How can The Journalist engage more effectively with members? More free-to-attend events that offer members a chance to upskill and to network – suggestions include a speed-dating type event for freelancers, where they could get the opportunity to get some face time to present ideas to editors, for example.


Podcasts covering important


campaign subjects that members can tune into in their own time would also help grow its audience. Subjects could include better pay and conditions, local news matters, ethics and standards, quality journalism, press freedom, international solidarity, defence of public sector broadcasting, equality and diversity, bullying and harassment and stress at work. 5. What is the role of The Journalist in communicating union policy and activities? Its role is to support and inform. It should also tell you want your membership fees are spent on and what your membership entitles you to.


It should also tell you what your


NUJ card gets you – where it entitles you access to and add-ons, for example, free entrance to galleries and exhibitions, with


Marc Jones


1. How can The Journalist better reflect the breadth and diversity of its membership? As someone who has worked in many of the sectors we represent (local print, magazines, television, radio, PR) and worked in London and Liverpool as well all over Wales, I want our union magazine to better reflect our diversity. Talking directly to grassroots members, activists and key officers would enable those voices to be heard via the magazine and an enhanced social media presence. At present we have a top-down approach to communicating rather than a discussion. I’d change that. 2. What role do you see for The Journalist in promoting the industrial and campaigning work of the union as the voice of professional journalists in the UK and Ireland? Joining a union is not easy for many newcomers across large swathes of our industry. The Journalist must be a recruitment tool in showing how the NUJ is relevant to them and should highlight best practice and good examples of our work in safeguarding standards, enhancing pay and working conditions. The race to the bottom in terms of job security, editorial guidelines and pay has been a constant throughout the past three decades. As a union, we have to get back on the front foot and The Journalist can be part of that. 3. How would you enhance the digital and online presence of The Journalist, in line with DM Policy? I’ve set up @TheJournalistNUJ on Twitter and a similar Facebook page, which will be available for the successful candidate. I’m an active social media campaigner and would utilise FB, Twitter and Instagram as


MIKE DAVIES


part of an integrated platform for The Journalist. At the moment it’s down to the editor’s personal Twitter account, which means there’s a lack of branding and identification with the union and the magazine. The union is still in the 20th Century in terms of communicating via social media – that has to change. 4. How can The Journalist engage more effectively with members? By working through social media and direct mailing between publication dates of the print edition to boost the magazine’s profile. A bi-monthly print magazine can’t do news effectively – that’s the remit of a targetted social media strategy.


As editor I would be happy to


develop such a strategy and visit chapels and branches to encourage participation and inclusivity. I’m a great believer in humour as an effective tool in any campaign or struggle, as our best cartoonists and columnists demonstrate. Editorially it can also provide light amid the meatier articles. 5. What is the role of The Journalist in communicating union policy and activities? It should be a platform to campaign for recruitment of new journalists, especially in the new media sector. It should also provide inspiration and practical advice for union activists to organise, recruit and campaign in their workplaces. A diminishing number of journalists are in relatively well-organised and well-resourced workplaces such as the BBC or “Fleet Street”. Many of our members and future members are in insecure, low-paid work with large corporations or in the gig economy. Difficult conversations need to be had about how we reach them and The Journalist can be a place for such conversations.


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