NUJ to launch campaign to protect local news

The National Union of Journalists is holding a “week of action” – from Friday 24 March until Saturday 1 April - that will champion local news as an essential component of society, democracy and citizenship.

The campaign will include a series of events in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales involving NUJ members, reps, chapels and branches from across different sectors of the media.

There’ll be events, conferences and activities taking place every day of the week and NUJ members from all parts of the local media – newspapers, online, start-ups, radio, TV, photographers and communications – are getting involved. 

Birmingham & Coventry NUJ will be staging a “local news matters” event in Room M93 at Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square, on 24 March from 6 – 8 pm. Anyone wishing to attend should e-mail tonyadams.press@gmail.com for an invitation or phone 07902 185087.

MPs are being invited to take part in a Westminster Hall debate on Thursday 30 March, which will take place from 1.30 pm until 4.30 pm.

Branch chairman Tony Adams (pictured) said: “The campaign wants to galvanise our collective voice to put pressure on media companies and other decision-makers who can stop the cuts and increase investment in quality local journalism.

“It demands

  • A short, sharp, national, parliamentary inquiry into the state of local news

  • Local papers should be treated as community assets

  • New rules to prevent local media outlets from closing overnight – they should be offered to potential new owners, including local co-operatives, with the time available to submit a bid for alternative media ownership in advance of any closure

  • Action by government and employers to stem the relentless job cuts

  • Increasing investment, from a range of sources, for quality local journalism.”

 

How you can take part:

  • Send a 140-character message (the size of a Tweet) to say why you care about local news

  • Record a video message for the campaign

  • Send examples that show how news coverage in your area has been able to make a real difference

  • Volunteer to organise local events or activities in your area

  • Send any messages, videos, good examples, comments or feedback to the NUJ campaigns and communications department via email: campaigns@nuj.org.uk