Battles over jobs, pensions and reporting the Iraq crisis dominated the NUJ journalists’ union conference at Liverpool last weekend.
The fightback against savage job losses across many big media groups centred on calls for coordinated company wide strikes – with support for action outside of the law won for the first time.
On pensions the mood was boosted by reports of this week’s council workers’ strike – which includes 150 NUJ members.
Journalists who work for the Regional Newspapers Association of Ireland forced bosses to scrap plans to end their pension scheme after a ballot resulted in an overwhelming vote for strikes.
The BBC’s lack of coverage of the huge 18 March Stop the War demonstration highlighted the union’s new “Journalism Matters” initiative.
It aims to fight cut backs in newsrooms and tap into the growing public distrust in the media since the Iraq war.
Delegates adopted a strong anti-racist stance at the conference.
They passed several motions against increasing racist attacks on Muslims and asylum seekers.
The conference sent a united message over the anti-Muslim cartoons at the same time as reiterating the union’s longstanding commitment to free speech.
Delegates urged a stepping up of support for mobilisations against war and Islamophobia, such as the recent demonstration called by the Muslim Association of Britain.
Protests will be held outside BBC centres at lunchtime on 4 April over its Iraq war coverage.