Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Is a new era of quality journalism dawning?

THE National Union of Journalists is holding a day school in Manchester on how reporters should 'cover' news stories about the British National Party.

What's worrying NUJ bosses is that the BNP is rapidly becoming part of the country’s mainstream political landscape and that NUJ guidelines, drawn up twenty years ago instructing their members to always report on the British National Party in a negative light, now look very dated.

It's about time the union took a more balanced approach so it would be useful if those journalists who have had their concerns over this very unfair policy voiced them at this meeting.

The meeting takes place on Saturday 25th July and you can book a place via Manchester’s NUJ office -

The Chartered Institute of Journalists led the way on this last month by urging its members to report on the British National Party as they would any of the other three main parties. Hopefully one of its representatives might get along to the NUJ meeting and explain to them the editorial line they should be taking.

There's been a big response to my reports from the weekend conference in Gloucestershire with many more questions being asked about various aspects of the Party's set-up and the changes that have taken place.

While this isn't the place to go into detail of who does what, I can say that training will form a big part of the new professionalism of the Party.

One area that constantly raises issues is Regional Accounts and this was addressed at the meeting. Regions who want to look after their own affairs can do so but only after an intensive training course from Deputy Treasurer David Hannam.

With regard to the caseworkers working for our European Constituency Offices in Yorkshire and the North West, again training is vital and Tina who is well briefed in this field, and Leeds City councillor Chris Beverley will be ensuring that their knowledge is imparted to those helping our MEPs to make their mark.

Today, in my capacity as the North West's Election Officer, I'm working on a new report form which details the way we contest each election.

Ideally the form needs to be filled prior to polling day so that the actual result doesn't colour the judgement of those providing the information.

I'm a great believer in compiling information and looking for patterns which could prove beneficial in the future.

Big day for Andrew and Nick yesterday and didn't they do well. Lots of positive images of them taking their seats doing the rounds and Nick's scathing criticism of the Kinnocks seems to have been universally well received.

There are two local council elections taking place tomorrow where British National Party candidates are involved. Both are County Council seats, one in Derbyshire (Kirk Hallom) and the other in Warwickshire (Arbury). If anyone has any info on how our campaigns have gone I shall include it in tomorrow's posting with a full list of the candidates.

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