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NUJ Lobby 25th March 20 March 2009

Posted by steve1917 in General.
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Time to put pressure on MPs over local media jobs

With a week to go until the NUJ’s parlimentary lobby over local media cutbacks, more than seventy UK MPs have signed a motion on the issue.

The parliamentary petition regrets job cuts at profitable local media and calls on the government to give state support ONLY in return for guarantees on investment in journalism.

MPs from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and seven different political parties have backed the demand.

The NUJ is calling on as many journalists as possible to attend a lobby of Westminster on 25 March and to write to their MPs before that date.

f you are coming email campaigns@nuj.org.uk for more info.

The NUJ estimates that nearly 2,000 jobs have been lost from regional newspapers, television, radio, and websites.

Early Day Motion 916 supporting local journalism has 71 MPs signed up from the Conservative, Demonractic Unionist, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Scottish Nationalist, and Social Democratic and Labour parties.

The lobby is on Wednesday 25 March. There is a briefing for MPs about regional journalism in the UK at 2pm in Committee Room 20 of the House of Commons. Individual journalists are encouraged to speak to their own MP after the briefing.

There will be an additional meeting for Welsh MPs at 3.30pm in Committee Room 21.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said: “It is important that as many people as possible lobby their MPs by letter and in person. We need to demonstrate to them that we are serious about Standing Up for Journalism.

“Please write to your MP even if they have signed the EDM – we need to create some momentum for the campaign.

“There is a lot of talk about state-subsidy, tax-breaks and statutory advertising. If that happened now it would not save jobs – it would just create a government-funded free cash point for profit-hungry speculators.

“Any state aid must be tied to guarantees about jobs and public service journalism – in newspapers, websites and broadcasting.

“There must also mechanisms to safeguard editorial integrity.

“The government also needs to look at backing new local media start ups as part of their agenda of supporting social cohesion.”

The lobby is part of a union-wide campaign against media cutbacks.

13 March 2009 updated 18 March 2009

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