Wednesday, November 28

  • 'Can it really make sense to cut the BBC World service by 16%, leading to the loss of 32 language services and 650 jobs'
BBC: World Service
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty's Government by how much the BBC World Service budget has been reduced in the current financial year; and what plans they have for funding the World Service in the future.

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): My Lords, the budget for the BBC World Service for the 2011-12 financial year was just over £255 million. It was reduced by £11 million to £244.2 million for the current financial year and will reduce by a further £4 million to £240 million in the financial year 2013-14. From April 2014, the BBC World Service will be funded from the licence fee instead of from FCO grant in aid.

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister for that reply, but at a time of phenomenal uncertainty in the world can it really make sense to cut the BBC World service by 16%, leading to the loss of 32 language services and 650 jobs and an estimated fall in audiences of some 30 million people? In particular, should we not think again before savagely reducing medium-wave transmissions to Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Israel at a moment when the region is in total crisis and the voice of reason is in such short supply? In this 80th anniversary year of the BBC World Service, surely it is a moment to celebrate its extraordinary achievements in upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law rather than so short-sightedly diminishing this country's influence right across the globe.
Read more: House of Lords / 27 Nov 2012 : Column 83

Friday, November 23

Inspired Union: Strategies For Journalism To Flourish

NUJ freelances displayed an innovative range of strategies to survive and prosper at a one-day conference.  A capacity audience packed the event to hear from more than twenty speakers describing initiatives including: instant-video documentary making, selling into new foreign markets, self-publishing via Kindle, and creating iPad app publications.

Other novel funding sources and work models included crowd-funding foreign photographic assignments, working as a journalist on behalf of brands, cross-funding journalism with authoring corporate ‘white papers’ and, a number of successful co-operatively produced publications.

The event, organised by the London Freelance Branch, aided by the NUJ’s Freelance Office, was held at the London Welsh Centre on 17 November 2012.  Open to all, in excess of 200 people attended, more than half of them women, many of whom contributed to the lively event with their own questions and experiences.
Read more:   New Model Journalism

Monday, November 12

  • Paralysed on one side, unable to speak properly, blind in one eye summoned to Atos work capacity assessment, suffered a stroke whilst attending, then told he was to lose his disability benefits and died the day after the benefit was stopped!
EDM 687: Work Capability Assessment And Day Of Remembrance
That this House wishes to record the case of Mr Brian McArdle who, having suffered a blood clot on his brain, was left paralysed on one side, unable to speak properly and blind in one eye and yet was summoned to an Atos work capacity assessment, before which he suffered a further stroke and was eventually informed he was to lose his disability benefits; notes with sadness the Mr McArdle died from a heart attack the day after his benefits were stopped and that his 13 year old son Kieran wrote to Atos to tell the company that their assessments `are killing genuine people like my dad'; and appreciates why disability campaigners like Susan Archibald are calling for the suspension of Atos assessments, and why Jim Moore and other campaigners are calling for 3 December to be a day of remembrance for all Atos victims.

Sponsors: McDonnell, John  /  House of Commons / Date tabled: 05/11/2012

Tuesday, November 6

NUJ November Branch Meeting

Tuesday 20th November
Carrs Lane Church Centre
Carrs Lane
B4 7SX

6:00 pm for 6:30 start

Any apologies to branch chair:


1) Introduction by chair/those attending

2) Minutes of October  meeting

3) Secretary/Treasurers reports

4) Branch reports

5) Up date on disputes - BBC what next?

6) Any other business

Monday, November 5

York & Bradford Pay Protest Action Stepped Up
NUJ journalists working for Newsquest in York and in Bradford continue to protest against their unfair treatment with industrial action. After five years' service on Newsquest Bradford titles, journalists on the weeklies earn £19,672 and on the dailies £22,426. Since 2009, staff at York and Bradford have had a single 2 per cent rise in 2011 while the Retail Price Index has increased by 12 per cent in that period. Yet the figures show a £44,000 "share-based payment" for senior staff at Newsquest Yorkshire and North East.

All this week begining Monday 5th November journalists in York and Bradford will take industrial action. Staff at York will hold a mandatory chapel meeting at 10am every day next week and staff in Bradford will hold a mandatory chapel meeting on Wednesday from noon.
Read more