National Union of Jounralists general secretary Jeremy Dear has called on blogging journalists to join the union.
In an article for The Guardian’s opinion website Comment is Free, Dear wrote that the NUJ must reflect the changing media landscape.
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He wrote: “The nature of journalism is changing and, as a union, we have to reflect the industry in which our members work. Clearly, not all people who blog are journalists, but journalists who are bloggers should be encouraged to join.”
Dear wrote that the union would have to be active in whatever medium journalists find themselves working, in order to protect its members’ rights at work and maintain journalistic quality.
Dear also rejected suggestions that the union is less relevant in the era of media convergence: “There are those who say that professional journalism won’t survive the ‘information revolution’. We’ve been hearing that refrain for a century. Every new technology – radio, television, the internet – was predicted to spell the death knell for the NUJ.”
In November, the London freelance branch admitted Conrad Quilty-Harper, who contributes to blogs including Engadget, as the union’s first member who listed his job description as “blogger”.
Earlier this month, a special NUJ commission published a report into the effect of cross-media integration in newsrooms and found low standards of quality control in some newsrooms’ online operations.