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YourSay... ç inviting letters, comments, tweets


Please keep comments to 200 words maximum


H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H


We must all tackle mental health stigma


As a journalist and mum living with bipolar disorder and PTSD, I was delighted to see coverage of mental health in the latest edition of The Journalist. I was, however, disappointed to see that the reporter


used the outdated term ‘manic depression’ rather than the correct description of the illness known widely now as bipolar disorder or bipolar for short. Manic depression is no longer used in the medical


profession; it was removed as an official label a number of years ago to separate it from depression. However, some people still use the term, creating further confusion around this mental illness, which affects one to two per cent of the population. Unfortunately, it is not just media practitioners who


have a long way to go in dealing with mental illness. Media companies do too. They must also treat their employees – one in four of whom will have a mental health problem – with the respect and dignity they deserve. Employees must also do their bit in the workplace. By


opening up conversations with colleagues around mental health we can all play a part in breaking down the stigma of having a mental illness. I really enjoy receiving my copy of


The Journalist. It’s nice to keep up to date with what is happening in my profession despite me not being a part of it right now. Alex Harvey Whitby


Small charity had a big role in campaign While cautioning that there remains much still to do, your feature in the March/April issue rightly noted the improvement in how mental health issues are reported. However, it failed to acknowledge the key role of a small charity, Mental Health Media, in helping start that improvement. It was MHM, previously known as the


Mental Health Film Council, that did much of the spadework for the creation and funding of the successful Time to Change anti-stigma campaign. It also


22 | theJournalist


£30 prize


letter H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H


set up the first speakers’ bureau of people willing to talk about their mental health problems to the media, offering them training and support. When MHM merged with Mind in


2008, Mind took over MHM’s media awards that have since grown into a glittering, high-profile event. We’ve come a long way since the days of ‘Bonkers Bruno’ headlines. It would be an injustice if the vital part played by MHM was wiped from the record. David Brindle (former MHM trustee) London


Legal or lawful? Discuss the distinction I was eagerly devouring the contents of my latest Journalist and, when I got to Your Say – inviting letters, comments and tweets – a thought struck me. Though I’m not normally violent, I thought I’d strike back. How about a section on Lawful vs


Legal? A topic for thought, for example – do we have the lawful right to travel or do we have the legal right to travel? Are journalists, reporters, media


personnel etc travelling and working in private or are we public servants who


Email to: journalist@nuj.org.uk Post to: The Journalist 72 Acton Street, London WC1X 9NB Tweet to: @mschrisbuckley


would need a licence to do so? We look forward to the thoughts, ideas and opinions from all our fellow readers and beyond. Ian Maccabee Irish Eastern branch


Being open about pay is positve but only a start It was good to see the article in the Journalist regarding the uplift in Michelle Stanistreet’s remuneration. Some other publications would not have published such information. However, in the area where I live,


there appears to be concern about the inequality between single mums struggling on one wage and households with two incomes… the sort of inequality in life that it is difficult to remove. Eddie Johnson Life member


Don’t meddle with a winning house style Ray Pearson may be entitled to impose his house style on the periodical he edits but he has no business criticising the rest of us for using the expression ‘to win a medal’ (March-April Journalist). My dictionary (Shorter Oxford, 1993)


illustrates this usage by a quote from novelist Graham Greene: “She was a head warden in the blitz and won the George Medal.” Older readers may remember that, early in his writing career, Greene was a sub on the Times. Wynford Hicks St Aulaye, France


Readers can tell if it’s interesting – or not ‘Interestingly’ (column three, ‘Fly the Flag for Good Standards of English’, March/April) is an adverb, but is missing a verb. Lower the flag. And anyway, if it’s interesting – which the writer is obviously trying to say – why tell us? If it’s interesting, we’ll spot it. And if it isn’t, writing ‘interestingly’ doesn’t make it so. Fabian Acker London


TIM ELLIS


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