After 13 years working in newspapers both reporting and sub editing I left print journalism to join BBC radio, reporting, producing, news reading and also becoming a news editor. I then moved to Television News, also reporting and producing, and spent almost thirty years at the BBC, finishing as the editor of a daily half hour news programme serving the whole of Eastern England.
I now work on a voluntary basis for the NUJ, negotiating and representing our members working at the BBC. I am also one of the union’s three National Officers as the Honorary General Treasurer.
I have been Chair of the EFJ’s Broadcasting Experts Group for many years fighting and campaigning with BREG colleagues for the preservation and development of broadcasting throughout Europe. I have also been a former member of the Steering Committee for one three year period before my NUJ colleague Barry White took over. I have been a regular delegate to EFJ general meetings and have presented motions and spoken in many debates.
Our priorities should include defending professional and social rights of journalists, fighting job losses, closures, attacks on protection of sources and campaigning for authors’ rights. In an age of cuts and rapid technological change, we need to continue to help our affiliates where necessary to organise themselves to defend their members through solidarity action when they need it, or setting up relevant projects to help build their organisations and membership. We recognise that development in the regions is uneven, but our job is not to stand still, but to advance in those areas that need help in developing. The EFJ is the most advanced region and able to play the role of locomotive for all our regions worldwide – assisting in the same shared aims as our colleagues in the IFJ. While both organisations have their own mandate and priorities we should continue to identify joint actions such as the Turkey Campaign, seek new resources and agree activities that would benefit our members worldwide.