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Neo-Luddism special: NUJ sets determined course toward irrelevance


The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) was an organisation I used to hold in some regard, not least after flirting with journalism as a career a couple of decades back - membership of the NUJ seemed like the real mark of a professional journalist. In fact their membership card was what gave you press credentials in many situations - I recall friends on journalism courses merrily abusing them to get guest passes to nightclubs, gigs etc. back in the day.

In recent years, however, the NUJ seems to have set its mind to scuttling the ship and sinking into irrelevance. You may recall the "Witness Contributors" effort to define bloggers and citizen journalists - another pointless example of an industrial age institution trying to define things in the networks which were (a) already defined and (b) utterly oblivious to the efforts of committee-drones to push definitions upon them.

Now they are at it again and driving out some of their most sophisticated members (i.e. those coming to terms with the new technologies and realities of being a media professional in the age of networks).

Jeff Jarvis, naturally, has given them short shrift, and the Telegraph's Shane Richmond is heading for the exit, as is Roy Greenslade, one of the UK profession's most distinguished figures (links are to their articles explaining their points of view).  

Perhaps there could be some sort of burning of virtual membership cards in Second Life. But they wouldn't notice, so probably best to drop some blog-post-bombs on the blighters' reputation and cancel the direct debit.


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Y'know, I've been seriously considering cancelling my membership.

But then I'd lose my Apple Store discount…

Hmmm. Politics vrs Economics. It's tough.

Have a look at the members of the Commission, please - two Guardian Unlimited journalists, one BBC Online journalist, one Senior Website Editor, one new Media veteran and trainer. We're not "coming to terms" with technology, we're knee deep in it and researching it for the benefit of our members. And I like the fact that you repeat the misinterpretation of the Witness Contributors code that the blog linked refers to, let me repeat:
"The code was intended for use by organisations (read media newsrooms and intermediaries like Scoopt) not a helpful guide for non-professionals to make sure they don't fall foul of the law or get taken advantage of by media organisations looking for low or no cost alternatives to paying professionals."
It had nothing to do with bloggers. If bloggers want a code, they should use the same one we all use: http://www.nuj.org.uk/inner.php?docid=59

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