Defend journalism to protect democracy

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March 15, 2017 by NUJMcrSalford

Defending journalism …

Local News Matters is a week of action to champion local news as an essential component of society, democracy and citizenship starting March 24.

More than 190 local newspapers have closed in the UK since 2005 meaning job losses in the industry and a lack of access to local news for many communities. The NUJ is keeping a roll call of closures, launches and job losses.

Local news matters and needs to be defended. Local news gives us the information we need to make choices to support our communities – from the threat of library closures to the activities of local politicians.

The NUJ campaign demands:

localnewsmatters

  • 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.

Our campaign aims to reclaim a vital, vigorous press that is at the heart of the community it serves and is owned and operated in the public interest.

You can write to your MP using our model letter alerting them to the campaign and seeking their support.

Follow @NUJofficial on twitter, tweet us your local news and use the hashtag: #localnewsmatters Let us know what you are planning for the week by emailing: campaigns@nuj.org.uk

Protecting democracy …

As Trump undermines journalism with his attacks on individual journalists, his disingenuous fears of “fake news” and his use of hyperbole and false information, we look to the 50s and how journalism confronted McCarthyism.

We’re screening Good Night and Good Luck (2005), directed by George Clooney, followed by a discussion From McCarthyism to Trump led by author and journalist Granville Williams on March 25.

On 9 March 1954 Edward R.Murrow broadcast one of the most powerful documentaries in the history of television on his prime-time current affairs goodnight.jpgprogramme See It Now.

Murrow devoted the entire programme to an indictment of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunting and blacklisting tactics. McCarthy built support by playing on the anxieties of Americans, actively convincing them of division, danger and conspiracy when they didn’t exist.

The parallels between the way McCarthy operated and the US President Donald Trump today are obvious. What role should the US media play today to challenge the ‘alternative facts’ Trump and his staff promote?

All screenings are at Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, 35-39 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JG.

All welcome. You don’t have to be a journalist or an NUJ member.

Film starts 14:00

Tickets are £4 on entry (this is to cover venue and film licence costs).
Licensed bar and refreshments available.
More details on campaigns and events via mcrsalfordnuj@gmail.com

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