South London colleagues warn of Newsquest’s kamikaze plans

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How can 12 journalists produce 11 local papers and 8 websites? Last week, the journalists at Newsquest’s South London titles got a feel for how when, after a week on strike, they returned to work for a few days before walking out again for another week.

Speaking at a meeting called by the Oxford branch at The Punter last Thursday, one chapel rep described the process. “You just have to get the paper out: Do we have the age of this girl? No? Do we have a name for her? No? F*** it! That’ll do. Off it goes.” Continue reading

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Dreaming Spires branch Inspires

digitally-converged-summer-social

More than 60 journalist from every sector came to Oxford NUJ branch’s ‘digitally-converged summer social’.

Those attending included a sizeable contingent from BBC Oxford – whose chapel co-organised the event – on-screen reporters from Meridan TV’s newsroom, Chapel representatives from the Oxford Mail and Oxford Guardian and members working in book publishing.

Anna Wagstaff, branch secretary, explained the thinking behind the event:  “Our local media is interlinked. And in this fast-changing media sector, we all have an interest in fostering a local media ecosystem that offers opportunities to earn a decent living, doing whatever we do to the best of our ability. We wanted to bring together the broadest possible range of members to start to explore common areas of interest.”

The energy generated by the event – which was held in an arts centre near BBC Oxford – was palpable.  Alison Campbell, a Banbury-based PR said: “I can’t believe it when I meet PRs who aren’t in the NUJ – this event is another example of how relevant the NUJ is to us”.  Several others at the event were equally committed to building NUJ membership.

Paul Jenner, BBC Oxford FOC, said: “I was delighted at the wide range of people who came to the social, and as a result we have had several new membership enquiries. We truly are stronger when we work together.”

NUJ president, Tim Dawson, who was invited to the event to speak, later described the social as one of the best NUJ branch meetings he had ever attended.  “The plan to bring people together from every sector really worked.  The mix of people made for an enormously stimulating event – if other branches could emulate this success it would be an enormous boost to the entire union,” he said.

Cross-posted from the nuj.org.uk

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Branch secretary becomes Member of Honour

At the recent NUJ Delegates Meeting, Oxford and District Branch secretary Anna Wagstaff was made a Member of Honour. Anna was nominated by the branch in recognition of her untiring grassroots, branch level activism.

Members of Honour: Anna Wagstaff, Jim Boumelha, Dave Rotchelle and John Horgan

Members of Honour: Anna Wagstaff, Jim Boumelha, Dave Rotchelle and John Horgan – © Paul Herrmann

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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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Yeah but… no but… weighing up the EU options for Oxon

Anne Hall - Jan 2016

Blogpost by Anne Hall freelance member of the Oxford NUJ branch

 

David Cameron and Nigel Farage weren’t the only ones facing difficult questions about the EU referendum on Tuesday evening. While the prime minister and the UKIP leader were busy practising their soundbites ready to face live questions from the audience, NUJ branch members in Oxford were having their own debate about what the referendum result could mean for them. 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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Seriatim and strength in numbers: what I learnt at DM2016

paul twitter imageThe Oxford NUJ branch sent 3 delegates to the NUJ national conference, Southport April 14-17, to participate in deciding on union policy and electing officers for the coming two years. Paul Jenner represented the branch for the first time, alongside Anna Wagstaff and Bill MacKeith. He blogs here about the experience. Continue reading

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Confidence, Camaraderie and Contacts

Anne Hall - Jan 2016

Anne Hall

Eleven branch members signed up to the first NUJ professional training course to be organised right here in Oxford. Anne Hall (@AnneHall222) was one of them and reports on the experience.

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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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Freelance Salon: new ways to make online journalism pay

London Freelance Branch have always been an asset to freelances throughout the NUJ – their newsletter (mailed to all freelance members) is full of pertinent information, their Freelance Fees Guide is an excellent resource, and they have run some inspiring conferences on new ways to make journalism pay.

Their latest venture, the Freelance Salon (in partnership with Freelance Industrial Council), is an offshoot of those conferences, designed to reflect the way the freelance world is changing and to share new ideas. Continue reading

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