The NUJ held its biannual conference on April 28-29, at the TUC’s Congress House in central London. And Oxford NUJ were out in force. Branch secretary Anna Wagstaff reports.
This was the first time that NUJ members from all sectors of the union, from across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and continental Europe, had met in person for five years, due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
At 11am today, 15 March, staff at BBC Radio Oxford began a 24-hour strike in protest at plans to cut BBC local radio. They join NUJ members on strike at 30 stations across England. BBC Oxford journalists and NUJ reps Martin Eastaugh and Serena Martin explain why.
We believe you, as licence fee payers, know the difference between local and regional journalism. The needs and interests of people in Banbury and rural Oxfordshire are not the same as those in Reading or on the Isle of White – and vice versa.
But true local journalism is under threat. Local BBC radio, TV and online are some of the very few to find coverage of important stories from where you live, and we are so proud to deliver them. You pay for this through your licence fee – but these new proposals unfairly cheat people in Oxfordshire out of a local service.
A day in the life of Penny Kiley, a freelance web editor and NUJ member.
When people think of the National Union of Journalists, they don’t tend to think of people like me. I don’t have an employer and I don’t work as a reporter for newspapers, magazines or broadcasting. I’m freelance, and there are a lot of us in the NUJ. And I work mostly in what the union quaintly calls “new media” – in other words, digital. There are a lot of NUJ members working in that sector too. It is actually a very broad-based union these days.
I’ve been freelance (this time round) for exactly ten years, as Facebook recently reminded me, so it seems a good time to stop and think about what I do. Also, the branch thought a “day in the life” of some members might be a good idea for blog posts. So here goes.
We now have more detail on the BBC’s proposals to significantly cut its bespoke output in BBC Local Radio and closure of BBC Oxford TV. We are asking for your support in opposing the cuts, which we believe will seriously diminish a service that is highly valued by listeners and underpins local democracy.
On 31st October, the BBC announced wide-ranging changes to its local news coverage that will have particular impact on Oxfordshire. Local radio is being cut across the country – but we also lose our dedicated Oxford TV news coverage.
Branch secretary Anna Wagstaff reviews another year of branch activism in her 2021-22 annual report.
This was the year we came out of the lockdown, and began to navigate issues around the social, professional and financial aspects of working from home. Issues around costs of heating that were strongly flagged in the Beyond Lockdown: Working from Home survey we ran in 2021 became much more significant as fuel costs have escalated.