Advances in technology bring as many advantages as they do disadvantages, and Saturday afternoon at the conferences show both sides of this. I’ve opted to dip out of this session and rest after two days of serious debate and serious socialising, but my colleagues from BBC London provide a good summary of events.
Firstly, the Leveson Inquiry. Serious stuff, and a chance for the Union to reflect on the dramatic developments of the past year which has seen the ethics of journalism scrutinised like never before. To many outsiders, the notion of an “honest journalist” is a misnomer. But the reality is, the NUJ has had a Code of Conduct for its members for decades. The image of our profession is damaged by the few.
Then, more handbags. And it’s all Twitter’s fault. One delegate accuses another of abusing her online – but makes her complaint during a completely unrelated debate. Chaos ensues – as other delegates demand that the accused gets his right to reply. It’s exactly the kind of behaviour that gives unions a bad name.
So to Saturday evening, and the Gala Dinner. This is far less formal than it sounds, and much more low key than in previous years. There’s no traditional revue show, no jokes in bad taste. Just some decent food and a bit of local folk music. Previously, I’ve barely been able to stand after such events. The fact that this blog has been fuelled by an early breakfast and a crisp Sunday morning gives you an idea of where we’re at.