Socialist Worker

Battle launched for pay equality in media

by Phil Turner
Issue No. 2601

Journalists have to fight for better pay and against media bias

Journalists have to fight for better pay and against media bias (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Delegates at the NUJ journalists’ union conference have backed a national pay campaign against appalling inequality for women in the media.

The campaign was unanimously agreed at the conference in Southport last weekend.

It’s good the union has won pay rises for the lowest paid at the BBC and is now contesting the ongoing gender imbalance.

But the conference missed a real opportunity to tap into the anger over pay and wider issues such as racism to build confidence for a fightback.

NUJ leaders’ failings were highlighted when the executive council lost a proposed subs rise. Younger journalists won the day after arguing an increase would deter recruitment on top of low pay and lack of union activity.

The weaknesses showed as union leaders failed to give a lead on challenging media bosses’ on key issues such as how to fight racism and antisemitism, media bias or opposing the Syria bombings.

They also led opposition for a ballot to set up a political fund. Yet a call for the government’s racist Prevent strategy to be scrapped was carried. Anti-racist activists are now planning a series of Stand Up To Racism initiatives.

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