FILM SCREENING No Stone Unturned

I’m delighted to announce a very special event for this month’s branch meeting. In conjunction with Edinburgh and District Branch, we’re welcoming NUJ members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey who were arrested in relation to No Stone Unturned, their powerful documentary about a massacre in a Northern Irish pub in 1994 when masked men shot at football fans from behind, leaving six dead and five injured. The film also points to corruption involving the police, paramilitary gangs and the army.
A quarter of a century later, nobody has been arrested for the murders, but two journalists have been arrested for doing their jobs and reporting on them.
Read the full story here:
At the event on Monday 15 April, we will have a screening of the documentary followed by a question-and-answer session with Birney and McCaffrey. 
Please come along to show your support for the journalists and this important freedom-of-speech case. We’ll be starting at 6pm to allow time for the screening – fine to show up late if you can’t avoid missing the start of it. Should be a great night.
Quaker Meeting House
7 Victoria Terrace
I look forward to seeing you there,

Special guest speaker: Allan Wort of the Media Fund – Monday 11 March

We’re teaming up again with Edinburgh and District next week to welcome a special guest speaker to Edinburgh. Alan Wort is treasurer of the Media Fund, the funding body that supports independent media. They have already done some great work in helping independent media enterprises get off the ground and have an impressive growth strategy.
Allan is keen to secure support for the Media Fund and to discuss ideas for local initiatives. 

The NUJ’s DM 2018 passed a motion committing the NUJ to support and publicise the work of the Media Fund. Trade union principles are central to the Media Fund’s operating model and its partners have to sign up to the following code: 

·        They must abide by the NUJ’s code of conduct.
·        They must not be reliant on corporate or state funding.
·        They must support full unionisation of their workplaces.
More information:

Thanks to the help of Manchester & Salford Branch for setting this up.
Edinburgh Freelance & Edinburgh and District Branches
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

I look forward to seeing you there.

Should public funds be used to support journalism? – with John Toner

At tonight’s meeting in conjunction with Edinburgh & District branch, we’ll be picking up on the latest report from Frances Cairncross who suggests local news coverage could disappear without public funding:
Leading the discussion will be John Toner, NUJ national organiser for Scotland, who will also be updating us on the latest Scottish media news. Among the other contributors will be Scotsman columnist and branch chair, Joyce McMillan.
Should be a lively discussion.
Edinburgh Freelance Branch
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

Freelance Branch AGM

Our first meeting of 2019 is in two weeks’ time when we’ll be electing our branch officers and looking forward to the year ahead.

Here’s a list of the branch roles and the current office holders. Let me know if you’re interested in standing for any of the posts (or standing down).

Chair: Joyce McMillan
Vice-chair: Simon Barrow
Secretary: Mark Fisher
Membership secretary and welfare: Paul Cockburn
Treasurer: Joyce McMillan (standing in for Nick McGowan-Lowe)
Training: vacant
Edinburgh Trade Union Council rep: vacant
Student rep: Denitsa Tsekova
Auditor 1: Joyce McMillan
Auditor 2: Adam Ramsay

Edinburgh Freelance Branch AGM
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

I look forward to seeing you there.

Journalism: the next generation – Mon 19 Nov

Next Monday’s meeting is a chance to welcome the next generation of journalists into the NUJ as we talk about making the transition from student journalism to a professional career.
We’ve already been publicising the meeting among students and have had a phenomenal response. We’re hoping there’ll be a similarly big take-up from branch members because we’ll finish the evening with an informal chat, giving the students a chance to talk to professional journalists about their careers. Do come along!

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Facts and Fake News, Balance and Bias

The discussion at our meeting on Monday 17 September will be on the topical theme of Facts and Fake News, Balance and Bias.

Is the Conservative MP Damian Collins correct to say “we are facing nothing less than a crisis in our democracy based on the systematic manipulation of data to support the relentless targeting of citizens without their consent by campaigns of disinformation and messages of hate”? Continue reading

Freelance journalism and GDPR

I’m delighted to announce that our guest speaker for tonight’s session about General Data Protection Regulation for journalists is Sorcha Lorimer of Sympatico Consulting, a North Berwick company specialising in data privacy regulation. She’ll be focusing on the practicalities of GDPR as it affects journalists and will be providing an ebook guide. More about Sympatico here: Continue reading

Can journalists be book publishers?

At our meeting this month, we’ll be hearing from print journalists who have made the transition to writing books. What are the pros and cons of self-publishing, traditional publishing houses, print-on-demand and the extra effort of taking on such a big undertaking? Are there knock-on benefits? And is it an effective way to make journalistic skills pay?

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