This year’s NUJ ADM in Belfast also had a blog, although it seems nobody knew about it, few contributed, and it wasn’t linked from the NUJ’s front page. The Blog for the ADM in Birmingham seemed to be quite successful last year, and the year before in 2006 in Liverpool seemed to start the whole blogging experience off.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t go this year, and I am a bit doubtful that I actually would have wanted to go either. It seems to be easier to go as a student than a member of the NUJ anyways, as there are only 2 positions for the Edinburgh Freelance Branch available, but last year, four students from Edinburgh were able to go to the ADM.
The second problem is that the whole NUJ crowd at the ADM seems to be very cliquey – and it seems to be very hard to be able to infiltrate the “in” crowd. There are a lot of broken promises inherent in the NUJ structure, with the officials getting away with it – for example last year a competition amongst the student delegates was announced with a laptop as a first prize- however, the prize was never given away nor the competition actually finished. Secondly, Tim Gopsill, editor of the Journalist, the NUJ magazine, told us at last year’s student conference how ethical the magazine is treating its work experience people – paying them the best rates in town and additional payment per piece, but in the end, when I enthusiastically applied after last year’s ADM I did not even get a confirmation of the application, and I applied several times, wrote emails and never got a response. Apparently, the ethical treatment of work experience people at The Journalist does not apply to the application process, with a lack of transparency and accountability.
Thirdly I am very disappointed of the NUJ now anyways – it is like there is no help available from the union at all in between finishing university and finding a job in journalism. I don’t even know if I am a member of the NUJ anymore because I don’t know what status I would have…apart from that I am skint anyways and also