I’ve held back from commenting on the NUJ’s initial remarks on multimedia working but a call for reaction to Donnacha DeLong’s accompanying piece on the NUJ New Media mailing list – and some of the comments in response – have finally got me typing in frustration. In particular, one person’s remark that “The biggest problem is that on the web everyone thinks they are equal (and capable)” got me spitting. Continue reading
Delegates at the NUJ ADM on Sunday voted for the following members to make up a commission to look at convergence in the industry. The panel will consist of:
- Jemima Kiss, Guardian
- Helene Mulholland, Guardian
- Paula Dear, BBC Online
- Gary Herman, NUJ Training/freelance
More details when I have them, but a good indication of some of the panel’s ideas can be gained from my earlier post on the Digital Convergence fringe meeting, which involved three of the four.
Probably the most interesting part of the weekend’s NUJ annual conference was a fringe meeting on digital convergence. Speakers included Cardiff University’s Dr Andy Williams on his research into Trinity Mirror’s online strategy, The Guardian’s Len Mulholland, BBC News Online journalist Paula Dear, NUJ NEC member Adam Christie, and NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear.
Below are video clips from the event, but here are the bullet points:
- Trinity Mirror makes more money, spends less, employs fewer, circulation drops
- The Guardian invests in its website and training, but the web staff are often marginalised when decisions are made – for instance, when the political print team went ‘web-first’ for a conference the web journalists (who had already been web-first) were not consulted as to how they might adapt as a result.
- There is also concern about short-term contracts for those on more ‘experimental’ projects such as vodcasts.
- The main issue for journalists on the BBC’s website is 24/7 working patterns and the rota that goes with that.
- News management admit they don’t have a clue what they’re doing. The NUJ is seeking to set up a commission on convergence to help establish best practice and lead the process of convergence (more on this in later posts).
Introduction (chair: Jemima Kiss)
Dr Andy Williams
Len Mulholland, Guardian
Paula Dear, BBC
Finally, go to this page to download audio of Jeremy Dear.
NUJ members today voted for the union to investigate the profits being made by news organisations from their websites.
The motion at this weekend’s Annual Delegate Meeting in Birmingham, instructed the National Executive Committee to “compile information on the growth of web-based income of major media companies” with the view to campaigning “for the right of media workers to benefit from the large profits now being generated by many media corporations from using freelance copy on their websites”.
When completed, this will certainly make interesting reading – not just for journalists but for publishers still maintaining the difficulty of making any profit from the web. If it disabuses the common perception that the web is a loss-making part of most media companies it would not only mean claims for increased pay and conditions from union members, but also (I hope) more investment from previously hesitant media orgs.
For the next four days a team of student NUJ members will be blogging the annual conference. The conference is taking place in Birmingham, as the organisation celebrates its centenary (the very first conference took place here).
Anyway, full disclosure: I’m helping the students to run the blog, which is at http://100yearsofnuj.wordpress.com/ – there’s also a Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nuj100/, and a wiki at http://nuj100.wiki.zoho.com/. It’ll be interesting to see what the students – who have quite a mix of skills and experience – will make of it.
From NUJ Active:
One-day conference – Integration: The Big Conversation starts here…
An NUJ conference looking at the impact of convergence and integration on journalists and journalism will be held on Saturday 5th May in London. The NUJ wants to hear your views on the integration of new technologies in the media: the key challenges and also the lessons to be drawn from the good and bad practice already taking place. Find out more about the conference by clicking here.
Places are strictly limited so book early to ensure you don’t miss out! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The NEC has produced interim guidance notes on the key issues facing members in the convergence of print and digital newsrooms. To access these click here
Members at Johnston Press have negotiated an enabling agreement for the introduction of New Media at Yorkshire Post Newspapers. A copy of this agreement is available here