Thursday, 25 June 2009

Is the NUJ guilty of scaremongering?

Sometimes the decision whether or not to publish a story on HoldtheFrontPage is not necessarily a straightforward one. One such instance was yesterday's press release from the National Union of Journalists claiming that publisher Trinity Mirror plans to axe eight weekly titles in the Midlands and turn the Birmingham Post into a weekly or bi-weekly publication.

If the story is true, a number of journalists' jobs will inevitably be lost, and there is an argument for saying that the NUJ should have kept quiet about this until the people affected had been informed in the usual way.

That said, once it had put out a public statement on the issue, not just to HTFP but to all our competitor media news sites, it became very hard for us to ignore the story.

It generated an interesting debate in the comments section. While most readers thought the NUJ was simply doing its job, a significant minority thought the union had acted irresponsibly, with one accusing it of having "put the fear of God up people."


Dave Crouch said...

If my employer was secretly contemplating closing my title, I would like to know as soon as possible so that the union could start to (a) unpick the cruddy reasons usually wheeled out for closing titles down and (b) organise a campaign to prevent the closure. It's bonkers to say the news should be broken to staff as if someone's died - it's their job that's on the line. Don't mourn -organise!

Rich S said...

Is the NUJ guilty of scaremongering?