Category Archives: upcoming events

Join us Dec 13th to talk media and migrants over mulled wine

mulled-wine-shutter-stockJoin us, Tuesday December 13th, for an evening of friendship, mulled wine and mince pies, where we will turn our attention to groups who feel increasingly excluded, vulnerable and friendless in today’s Britain. Continue reading

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Our first digitally converged summer social: will you be there?

If you play a role in Oxfordshire’s interlinked and multi-platformed media ecosystem then  you’re invited to our summer social. Don’t let us down.

When? Thursday July 7th, 7.00-9.00pm

Where? North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7JN

Who? News reporters, photographers, documentary makers, press officers, comms workers – staff and freelances, print, broadcast and online, working for small outfits or global giants, serving hyperlocal or international audiences…

Why? Because news and information know no boundaries, because we all care about ethics, quality and professionalism, and getting a fair return for what we do, because you never know where you might find an opening to change job… and because all of the above are a good excuse to party

The social is being hosted by the BBC Oxford NUJ chapel, complete with free buffet and first drink and a bar. Continue reading

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BrOxit or Bremain? Join us June 7th for a discussion and a drink

Oxford Town Hall flying the Oxford City Council flag. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.

To exit or remain: what’s at stake for us in Oxfordshire?

We’ve invited Antony David, managing director of Solid State Logic, a local high-tech business, and Robert Wilkinson, a former teacher and a trade unionist, to tell us what they think, and explain why they will be voting “in” and “out”, respectively. We’re inviting you to come and join the discussion. Continue reading

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Junior doctors v spin doctors: next meeting

7pm Thursday February 18th, Oxford Town Hall

“Grassroots junior doctors have been central to countering government spin, using social media and other strategies to generate stories and coverage in a truly 21st Century campaign”

So says Oxford-based Dr Rachel Clarke, former TV journalist turned junior doctor, who has been involved in coordinating that media strategy at a local and national level.

Rachel will be a guest speaker at our February branch meeting, to talk about the issues at stake in the junior doctors dispute, the campaign of disinformation being waged by the government, and how junior doctors have used social media, in particular, to expose their lies.

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Making money from hyperlocal journalism: open meeting

 

Rich Coulter

Rich Coulter, founder and editor of the Filton Voice

 

We’re opening up the first hour of our October branch meeting for a discussion on making money from hyperlocal journalism, led by Rich Coulter, editor of the Filton Voice. 

 7.00pm, Thursday 15 October, Panel Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford. Everyone is welcome. Continue reading

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Covering stories from the migration frontline: an open meeting

Thursday Sept 10th, 7.00-8.15pm, St Aldates Tavern, opposite Oxford Town Hall

Discussion with videoclips led by Jason Parkinson 

 

Videojournalist Jason Parkinson spent 10 days in August recording events around Calais, one of Europe’s many migration frontlines, which he first visited in 2007.

He used his camera to document the realities of  daily life for the people trapped in this permanent transit camp on the Calais dunes, and to give a voice to people like Alpha, pictured below, to tell their stories – (you can see the full 5-min video here.

At our September meeting, Jason will show some of his footage, talk about his experiences and lead a discussion about covering the stories of migrants and migration.

This part of the meeting will start at 7.00pm and will be open to anyone interested in joining the discussion.

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News from Palestine – exhibition and roundtable discussion

INSERT YOUR HEADLINE HERE

As part of the Palestine Unlocked festival (www.PalestineUnlocked.com) the Oxford NUJ branch is hosting a roundtable discussion about how news from Palestine is gathered and reported. This is a public event

Venue: Friends Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford

Date/time: Tuesday June 16th, 7.00pm

The discussion will be preceded, at 6.30pm, by the formal opening of an exhibition of photographs taken by Nablus-based photojournalist Abed Qusini, which will be on display until Friday June 26th. (For details of opening times please see below)

Our knowledge of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza depends in no small part on the ability of Palestinian journalists to gather and report news stories.

They work against the odds. Continue reading

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Surveillance awareness: what we all need to know

arjen kamphuis

 

 

 

 

 

7.00pm, Thursday November 13th, upstairs in the St Aldates Tavern, St Aldates (opposite Oxford Town Hall)

Who can get access to what information about my personal and professional life, and the lives of those I interact with – and does it really matter? 

At our November branch meeting we invite members to think about the last question first. And we invite Arjen Kamphuis (pictured above), who co-authored the book on Information Security for Journalists (available free online), and does training in conjunction with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, to talk us through who could get access to our information and the abc of how we can protect ourselves.
Does it matter?
For our members involved in print, broadcast and online journalism, the answer is clear. If sources cannot trust us to protect them from the repercussions of talking to us, we will no longer be able find out about – much less report on – any stories that powerful organisations or individuals don’t want to be told.
But this is not just an issue for reporters. We all make assumptions about the security of what we have stored on our computers and remote servers, and we interact daily with others, on a personal and professional basis, on assumptions of trust and confidentiality that often fail to take into account the potential for other people to access those conversations.
At the same time our legislative protection is being undermined, for instance, by police abusing the 2000 RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to get access to confidential information in a way that bypasses the requirement to go before a judge to demonstrate that such access can be justified in the public interest.
Our responsibility
Our opinions on the use and abuse of such powers may vary, but as media workers we all have a responsibility to be aware of how secure our information is, and ensure that we don’t inadvertently put other people, ourselves or our work in harms way by making assumptions about confidentiality or promises that we can’t keep.
If you are a member,  join us at the branch meeting, Thursday November 13th, to learn about how to safely receive, store and send information. If you are not a member, but work in media and would like to attend, contact the branch secretary at oxfordnuj@gmail.com or by Twitter on @oxfordnuj
Background info
You can see a report by James Murdock (with a ‘k’), editor of Off the Record and blogger for the Huffington Post, of a day long session led by Arjen Kamphuis in July, here.
Video clips from some compelling presentations made at the recent conference on Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Safeguarding Journalists and their sources, organised by the NUJ in conjunction with the IFJ and The Guardian, can be seen here. Definitely worth watching.

 

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Travel, politics and political travel

 

Branch member Matthew Teller will be speaking at our October branch meeting about his work as a freelance travel writer specialising in the Middle East.  

The meeting is 7.00pm Thursday October 9th, upstairs in the St Aldates Tavern, St Aldates, opposite Oxford Town Hall, and it is open to non-members

matthew tellerIn this guest blog post, Matthew talks about his efforts to navigate “a journalistic path between the unthinking demands of tourist board PR, and the equally unthinking demands of breaking news”, and asks whether political aware travel writing is gaining ground.

Come to the branch meeting to hear more and join the discussion, 

WRITERS work alone. Freelancers tend to, anyway, and I’ve freelanced most of my life. That’s one of the reasons why the NUJ – alongside writers’ guilds and other trade bodies – is so valuable, creating networks and fostering working communities among writers and journalists.

So I’m honoured and delighted to have been asked to speak at the NUJ’s Oxford & District meeting on October 9th. It will be an informal affair: hearing about other people’s lives, and how they got to wherever they happen to be, is always fascinating. I’m proposing a hefty dose of that.

I write mostly about the Middle East. I’m lucky to have lived in Jordan, Jerusalem and other places, and privileged to have been able to travel widely on assignment across the region. A couple of clips: I wrote this from Egypt last summer, just before the military coup: http://quitealone.com/2013/07/05/hope-floats/

And my Radio 4 documentary on military relations between the UK and the Gulf aired last month – details here: http://quitealone.com/2014/09/23/sandhurst-and-the-sheikhs/

Beside the BBC, I write for newspapers and magazines both here and around the world.

My background is in travel writing, nowadays perhaps the most degraded and discredited branch of journalism of them all. It wasn’t always inconsequential, PR-driven and irredeemably fluffy, of course: there was a time when what we would now recognise as travel writing was virtually indistinguishable from foreign affairs reporting – and I’m interested in how we might be seeing something of a return to that today.

Challenging perceptions

With the enormous growth in tourism, the point of much mainstream travel writing has changed. Edginess has dissipated, description has faded and discovery has atrophied. For most people, most of the time, travel writing now means glorified tourist-board copy, telling safe stories about safe destinations from familiar standpoints. That’s not always the case, but travel journalism, digging below public narratives, and travel writing, challenging perceptions of people and places, both face existential threats amid the shrinking of our industry. Editors willing to push boundaries are hard to find. My word rates not only haven’t moved in fifteen years, they’ve mostly gone down.

A new genre?

Yet, along with the ubiquity of travel “content”, especially online, I’m sensing change in the air. The hunger for good stories, well told, will never die, and travel writing feels like it may be splitting. TripAdvisor and its ilk – clearly hugely popular – serve a purpose, as do Lonely Planet and Rough Guides (for whom I’ve written several titles), but have you been reading the website Roads & Kingdoms, for instance? Or have you been tracking Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Salopek, blogging for National Geographic?

Politically aware travel writing is gaining ground. Navigating a journalistic path between the unthinking demands of tourist board PR, and the equally unthinking demands of breaking news, feels new. And the countries the weekend supplements prefer to cover – the Frances, the Italys, the Antiguas and the Australias – aren’t at the core. It’s the places that don’t count as destinations – Central Asia, say, sub-Saharan Africa or my neck of the woods, the Middle East – where this new approach is being honed, feeding into how we, at home, imagine different places to be “newsy” or “touristy”. It’s an exciting time.

I’d be interested to discuss all of this, and more, on the night. See you there!

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Making journalism pay in the digital age – a networking event

Thursday July 3rd, 7,00pm, upstairs in the St Aldates Tavern,
Opposite Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates

 

An open networking event for journalists and would-be journalists working online and/or in broadcasting and print, as reporters, feature writers, photo/video-journalists, editors, PRs, designers, bloggers, front-end developers and more.

 

This is the second in our new-style branch meetings which aim to be more informal and inclusive, and follows a very successful June meeting where we piloted the new format.

Tim Dawson, chair of the NUJ’s Freelance Industrial Council, who writes regularly for a range of national newspapers and magazines including the Sunday Times, New Statesman and Times Education Supplement, blogs at http://tim-dawson.com/ and is co-publisher ofhttp://newmodeljournalism.com/, will present a short overview of some of the innovative ways journalists are using the internet and digital media to find new ways of working, and new ways to promote themselves and earn a living from what they do.

Steven Mathieson, a freelance member of the Oxford NUJ branch who has spent many years on the Guardian, specialising in information technology in healthcare and government, will talk about his experiences using the internet to reach a wider audience, build his profile, gather information, advertise his book CardDeclined, and crowdfund his reporting on the Ends of Britain via the Beacon journalism platform. He will set out why he thinks raising money from subscriptions is a more workable model than advertising for sustaining quality journalism.

We will also have contributions from Sonja Francis the editor of Thame.net, who moved from a background in local newspapers to set up the web-based news service, as well as from members who started off on the web development side and are now looking to expand into creating content.

If you have experiences good or bad in using digital media to earn money from journalism – offering web-based services or using the internet to boost your profile, find new clients, network within your specialist area, gather information – please come to the meeting and share them. If you are looking for tips and advice on getting started, or maybe for opportunities to collaborate, then this is the place to be.

The meeting is open to all NUJ members, whatever media sector you work in.

If you are not a member but are interested in joining or learning more about the union and getting started in journalism, you can apply to attend the meeting by sending an email to oxfordnuj@gmail.com subject line ˂making journalism pay˃

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