With the NUJ accepting its first full time blogger member (well done), The NUJ New Media mailing list (how retro) has been debating the acceptance of a second, at the end of which come Jemima Kiss and that original blogger, Engadget’s Conrad Quilty Harper, like a quality double act to head the bill. Kiss asked Conrad (or should that be CQH?) to explain why he joined. The answer bears quoting in full:
“One, I thought the NUJ could help build my career by exposing me to British journalists and their editors.
“Two, curiosity. I read Donnacha’s Web 2.0 editorial in The Journalist and it infuriated me, but it also made some kind of sense. I thought there’s gotta be a better way to investigate the NUJ’s attitude to new media than writing an angry blog post, and I thought that “better way” might have been to join the union.
“Three, by joining, I thought it’d be a good counterpoint to Roy Greenslade’s public resignation from the union. Frankly, I think that older journalists with established careers need the least support: it’s young people like me with an interest and some experience in journalism that need help to ensure that they’re not manipulated by employers. Some recent editorial by NUJ
members highlighting the increasingly common practice of hiring unpaid interns for long periods of time definitely caught my eye here.
“Four, to give back. There’s clearly a lack of understanding in the NUJ as a whole regarding new media and its benefits. Nearly three years at the world’s biggest blogging company has given me a fair degree of knowledge that I wish to impart.
“Five, and here’s the bonus reason. To make my mum happy. She thinks I’m a proper journalist now.”
Yes, yes and yes. Put so well, so succinctly, and so convincingly. The NUJ does have a role in the new media age – we just need members like this to clarify what that is. Glad to have you around, CQH.