Talk Of The Toon

Traditionally, August is seen as the silly season in journalism. The general rule of thumb being that everyone’s on holiday so not much gets done.

And what follows the silly season? It is, of course, the conference season. But whilst your TV screens have probably mostly been filled this week by Labour and over the weekend by the Lib Dems, I’m where it’s really at.

Newcastle. For the NUJ conference.

Now, no laughing at the back please, because this year’s NUJ conference could prove to be one of the fieriest yet, attempting to deal with the Union’s massive financial crisis. But before the real fun starts, we have the Sector Conferences.

This is where much of the real work of Conference gets done – in my case broadcasting. Most of the business relates to the BBC, as you might expect – but there’s plenty of interest from the commercial sector too.

For instance, at a time when BBC Scotland has announced possible staff cuts in news, Scottish TV is very much at the forefront of job creation – hiring and training around 20 new journalists. What’s more, the NUJ is delivering much of their training. A union and an employer working together? Surely shome misthtake?

But no, there it is.

Anyway, this is day one of four. Tonight our hosts from the Newcastle and Sunderland Branches are holding a Delegate Reception at the oldest pub in the Toon.

I may or may not be in a position to update you on this tomorrow.

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