Tag Archives: NUJ

Seamus Dooley, of the National Union of Journalists, tweetz:

On eve of Lyra’s funeral the NUJ is hosting a vigil at Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin  at 6pm. All welcome.

Celebrate life & legacy of Lyra, take a stand for a better future. Music, song, reflections.

New IRA admits murder of journalist Lyra McKee and offers ‘sincere apologies’ (Connia Young, The Irish News)

Scenes from the Kights of Campanile hazing ceremony under the campanile (bell tower) in the Library Square of Trinity College Dublin; NUJ ethics council chairman Professor Chris Frost

A referendum will take place at Trinity College Dublin in the final week of the current term where students will vote on the removal of The University Times‘ editor’s salary and a reduction in funding for the newspaper.

The University Times says if the referendum passes and the constitution of the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union is changed, the newspaper will be allocated €3,000 a year for printing which would amount to covering just one newspaper issue a year.

The Hilary term at the college ends on Sunday, April 21.

The referendum follows The University Times‘ rival on-campus newspaper Trinity News editor Niamh Lynch and contributing editor Rory O’Sullivan calling for The University Times‘ editor Eleanor O’Mahony’s resignation.

This followed an article in the University Times about a hazing ceremony carried out on Trinity’s campus by the all-male sporting society, Knights of the Campanile.

The Trinity News editors took exception to the University Times’ reporters use of a recording device outside an apartment where the hazing ceremony was taking place to help obtain their story.

Further to this…

The National Union of Journalists ethics council chairman Professor Chris Frost said in a statement last night:

“Secret or secretive societies with limited, invitation-only membership with ritual initiation ceremonies and degrading humiliation of noviciates are a danger to the general public as they bring with them an unreasoning loyalty to a small group of people, usually an elite, often with a sex or class-based membership.

“Such unreasoning loyalty is already evident in some of the supporters of the Knights and emphasises the dangers of such societies.

“Because such groups are damaging to society generally, as they maintain the power and influence of that elite by exercising control and limiting membership, they are a suitable subject for newspapers and other media.

Exposing privilege and undue loyalty to such groups is important as they can lead to disproportionate and damaging outcomes. It is right that the media should expose such groups for what they are and right that a student newspaper should expose a student society of this sort.

“It is perfectly acceptable journalism to use a tape recorder to record conversations that can be heard in a corridor.

“The overriding public interest is obvious, given that this is a high-profile society with a long history and large membership.

“Initiation rituals, (often called hazing in an attempt to disguise their true nature) of the type described have no place on a university campus.

“If those involved really are concerned about issues of journalistic ethics then a complaint should be made to the Irish Press Council, the appropriate body to investigate such an incident.

“Both the Trinity News and University Times subscribe to the Press Council of Ireland’s code. Principle 3 of the code of practice clearly recognises the use of subterfuge by journalists acting in the public interest and could have been asked to investigate this story.

“However, the newspaper’s opponents have attempted to block funding and close the newspaper, making it clear that closure is their aim, not a concern about ethics.

“The proposed referendum has profound implications for the reputation of student journalism and the reputation of Trinity College Dublin.

“This is an appalling attempt to curtail a free press, the thin end of a wedge the Irish media can ill afford to permit. Ireland is a country with a strong record on press freedom with a sound media regulatory system.

“As chair of the NUJ’s ethics council I condemn this attempt to gag the newspaper and promise the NUJ’s full support for a free press in Ireland, and indeed the rest of the world.”

NUJ ethics council supports University Times coverage of hazing in Trinity College Dublin (NUJ)

Previously: Best Haze Of Our Lives

UPDATE:

Former Trinity student, DPhil candidate in Criminology, and law lecturer at Oxford University Cian Ó Concubhair has tweeted his thoughts on the events at Trinity…

Cian Ó Concubhair

From top: Irish NUJ secretary Seamus Dooley; NM chief executive Michael Doorly; Independent News and Media offices on Talbot Street, Dublin 1

This morning.

Further to recent developments in the data breach story at Independent News and Media (INM)…

The Irish Independent, reports:

INM chief executive Michael Doorly is expected to address staff today about the latest allegations... The National Union of Journalists has also sought an urgent meeting with INM.

Last Sunday, Sunday Business Post journalist Tom Lyons reported that in 2015, hard drives of up to six editors in INM were allegedly taken in the middle of the night and copied before being returned to the journalists’ desks before they got into work.

Mr Lyons reported that, in 2013, following a request from INM’s then chairman Leslie Buckley, there was a collection and examination of emails allegedly sent by a number of INM members to their private email addresses without the members’ knowledge.

The Irish Times, reported that former Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris informed the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner that she was told by INM management that her emails were accessed in 2013 as part of an investigation into a leak.

Ms Harris said she shared correspondence with the commissioner’s office after INM “started to stonewall” when she asked them questions.

Inspectors ramp up probe at INM as quiz starts of key figures (Shane Phelan, The Irish Independent)

Yesterday: ‘Much Remains To Unravel’

Look Hack In Anger

Currently the situation at RTÉ is causing widespread disquiet.

The NUJ and many women are angry that male presenters are paid considerably more than their female counterparts, the head of the company is concerned that it is losing money while the general public is worried about a possible increase in the price of the TV licence.

I have a suggestion that could solve all these problems at once: reduce the salaries of the men until they match those of the women.

There! Everyone is happy!

Dave Robbie,
Booterstown,
Co Dublin.

Gender pay differences at RTE (Irish Times)

Meanwhile…

Last night…

Breakingnews.ie reported:

RTÉ bosses have been accused of gagging staff who want to talk publicly about the gender pay gap controversy.

During a meeting of RTÉ National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members on Thursday it was claimed that management had refused to give permission to some of its stars to engage with the media about the ongoing debate over pay.

One presenter told the meeting she had been approached by a number of newspapers and asked to comment on the issue but when she asked for authorisation from RTE it was denied.

Related: Running Out Of Mileage

Goodbye, RTE

Friends, Colleagues, Freelancers, Cover Your Mouths

Previously: Six One, Half A Dozen Of The Other

nuj

RIDICULE, ABUSE AND TROLLING – How to handle online harassment: This seminar for NUJ members includes a keynote by Dr Eoin O’Dell of TCD’s School of Law on the [Lorraine] Higgins and [Pat] Rabbite e-communication bills along with inputs from Sinead O’Carroll, news editor with TheJournal.ie, Karlin Lillington, Irish Times tech journalist, barrister Fergal Crehan along with plenty of time for questions and answers sessions. It takes place on Saturday, September 5, Connolly Room, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1, 12 noon till 4pm [link below for tickets].

Whingebags.

How To Handle Online Harrassment (Eventbrite)

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Professor Colum Kenny, from Dublin City University, and member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Last week Seamus Dooley, from the National Union of Journalists, criticised the ruling by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland concerning an item on same-sex marriage on the Derek Mooney show on RTÉ Radio One, which was broadcast in January.

A listener who complained said the programme breached the guidelines for fairness and objectivity. The BAI upheld this.

In response, Mr Dooley criticised the ruling, saying:

The BAI would appear to be singling out discussion on so called same-sex marriage, imposing restrictive conditions even before the government has provided wording on a possible referendum on civil marriage equality, never mind setting the date. Every interviewee likely to expression an opinion in favour of civil marriage equality must automatically be confronted with the alternative viewpoint. Likewise, a guest likely to oppose civil marriage equality cannot be interviewed without an advocate of civil marriage equality.

He also said, because the proposed gay marriage referendum came about because of the Constitutional Convention, journalists will now have to apply the same rule to any subject that was discussed at the convention and gave rise to a future referendum.

Further to this, Dublin City University Professor Colum Kenny, who is a member of the BAI, wrote to the National Union of Journalists challenging Mr Dooley’s criticism.

From his statement to the NUJ, Mr Kenny said:

The NUJ thinks that “the requirement of fairness, objectivity and balance has now been interpreted to mean that broadcasters are required to seek out alternative views in a range of programme settings.”

In fact, assuming that alternative views are voiced, any member of the NUJ involved
in broadcasting should know that this has been required ever since RTE was founded
more than half a century ago. Guidelines that RTE and other broadcasters issue to
their employees have long cited that law (most recently enshrined in S.39 of the
Broadcasting Act 2009). The legal requirement has never been confined to referendum campaigns.

The NUJ is wrong to imply that the Mooney show discussed same-sex marriage in a manner somehow removed from the fact of a planned referendum. The programme participants did not seem to share the NUJ’s degree of uncertainty about the planned poll or about its central question, and had a view on how people ought to vote. Mr Mooney himself expressed his opinion in the matter.

The NUJ does not refer to another recent BCC decision concerning also the Mooney Show’s treatment of matters relevant to what the NUJ oddly terms “so called same-sex marriage”. In its earlier decision the BCC rejected a complaint by Catholic Democrats. I recommend that people read these two decisions online at bai.ie.

When rejecting the earlier complaint in June, the BCC found that that particular Mooney Show consisted largely of a factual discussion of Civil Partnership as it related to same-sex couples.

Regarding pungeant comments made by Mr Michael Murphy on guidance provided by the Roman Catholic Church in respect of the pastoral care of homosexuals in the Church, the Committee was of the view that “his interpretation of the teachings was reasonable and did not require a counterbalancing perspective”. But in its more recent decision the BCC found against RTE because, among other things,

“… the programme guests favoured such a change [in the Constitution] … and the
presenter stated similar views. It was the view of the Committee that in the absence of alternative views on this topic, a matter of current public debate and controversy, the role of the presenter was to provide alternative perspectives to those of his guests and that this requirement was not met on this occasion.”

In issuing its criticism of the BCC, the NUJ has unwittingly lined up with those who would like to dismantle the legal requirement for fairness in broadcasting. In the USA forces that included right-wing Republicans and big business succeeded in having the Federal Communications Commission’s “Fairness Doctrine” overturned. Among the fruits of their efforts have been shock-jocks and the kind of reporting that one sees on FOX NEWS.

Those who want “cranks” and others whom they regard as “unreasonable” excluded from the airwaves ought to bear in mind that they themselves might be regarded as “nutters” next time around. The NUJ Code of Conduct rightly states, “A journalist strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.” And fair is fair.

NUJ sticks to its guns on Mooney programme dispute (News, NUJ.ie)

Previously: That Loony Mooney Ruling

Pic: DCU

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Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Finally.

The NUJ has responded to last week’s ruling by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland concerning an “imbalanced” item on same sex marriage on the Derek Mooney Drivetime show on RTE Radio One.

Better late than never.

Seamus Dooley of the NUJ sez:

“Our members, researchers, producers and presenters, are now put in a very difficult position in evaluating stories and, in particular, studio interviews. The BAI would appear to be singling out discussion on so called same-sex marriage, imposing restrictive conditions even before the government has provided wording on a possible referendum on civil marriage equality, never mind setting the date.

Every interviewee likely to expression an opinion in favour of civil marriage equality must automatically be confronted with the alternative viewpoint. Likewise a guest likely to oppose civil marriage equality cannot be interviewed without an advocate of civil marriage equality.

Given that the proposed referendum springs from the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention there is a compelling logic that the same rule should apply to any subject discussion by the convention which may in the future be the subject of a referendum
or even further debate.

This would include any discussion touching or likely to touch on reducing the Presidential term of office to five years and aligning it with the local and European elections; reducing the voting age to 17; the Dáil electoral system;; giving citizens resident outside the State the right to vote in Presidential elections at Irish embassies, or otherwise;; the role of women in the home and encouraging greater participation of women in public life;; increasing the participation of women in politics;; removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution and any debate on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as abortion and the establishment of a unified patent court.”

And your point is?

FIGHT!

 NUJ challenges Mooney programme ruling on same-sex marriages (NUJ)

(Photocall Ireland)

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More than a hundred journalists, bloggers and media workers were killed in 2012 and this is a very small way of remembering them.

 

Justin Moran, Amnesty International Ireland.

 

Members of the National Union of Journalists Ireland and Amnesty International Ireland lay a wreath at The Veronica Guerin memorial in Dublin Castle to mark World Press Freedom Day.

From left:  Barry McCall (NUJ) Jim Aughney (NUJ) Ashling Seely, Amnesty International. Seamus Dooley (NUJ), Noeleen Hartigan of Amnesty International, Gerry Curron (NUJ) Martin Fitzpatrick (NUJ), Des Coughlan (NUJ) and Tony Jones (NUJ).

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

Logo_green

Another march?

A terse exchange of views in the letters page of the Irish Times?

The 2013 Lockout?

YOU decide.

From The National Union of Journalists Ireland (Independent Chapel)

Colleagues,

We have been contacted by numerous members of the chapel concerned about the piece in this morning’s Irish Times regarding a proposed new “editorial charter”.

The concerns about these proposals include:
Restriction of ability to report news without fear or favour.
Possible threat to indemnity for reporters in libel cases, i.e. a journalist would be “on their own” in a libel case if the journalist has written “any sustained or repeated adversarial material”. Restriction on editorial freedom. Press Council and NUJ codes of conduct are already in place.

On the face of it such a charter would represent a serious infringement on editorial independence and a major change to the house agreement.

The chapel officers have not been given, nor have they seen, any editorial charter. We are seeking a meeting with management and a copy of the document.

The NUJ is committed to upholding editorial independence and the principles of the NUJ code. We will be in touch with members when we have further information.

Independent Chapel Committee.

Previously: Mwahahaha

Thanks anon


“Last week Mr  [Tom] Savage (above) gave a robust defence of public service broadcasting. His defence of RTÉ and the manner in which he dealt with questions from a number of members was appreciated.

As Irish Secretary of the NUJ I was deeply disappointed by the tone of some of the questioning and detected a hostility towards RTÉ and the role of public service broadcasting which was disturbing. RTÉ is answerable to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and to the Minister for Communications and it would appear that some members would like to add an additional, parliamentary tier to the process of regulatory control.

Following the meeting I had hoped that all concerned could move on, allowing RTÉ to face the many challenges which confront the organisation with no further distractions.

Unfortunately the revelation that the Irish Missionary Union had been advised by the Communication Clinic raises questions which he needs to address directly. Programme makers have found this latest development deeply uncomfortable. 

Failure to do so would not be in the interest of RTÉ and it is essential that Mr Savage, as a Director of the Communications Clinic, deal with this issue as a matter of urgency.”

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, this morning.

NUJ seeks explanation from Savage over Communications Clinic advice to Irish Missionary Union (RTE)

Savage ‘not aware’ of PR work for priests (Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner)

Savage ‘Not Told’ Of PR Dealings With IMU (Paul Cullen, Irish Times)

Previously: The Communication Clinic’s ‘Client Confidentiality’

Was The Communications Clinic Hired To Deal With Mission To Prey Before It Was Even Broadcast?

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)