Monday, April 30, 2007

Journo union steps into hot water

Britain's National Union of Journalists, for whom I happen to be a member, has acted with a classic piece of foot-shooting this month.

During the usual rumpus and argument during their annual meeting, they somehow managed to vote in a boycott of Israeli goods. Not only is this pointless (in terms of effect), it damages the union, reflects poorly on us journalists trying to report both sides of an issues, and alienates those who disagree with the decision.

The whole affair reminds me of student politics, how poorly-attended meetings are hijacked by aparatchiks and minor militant movements, for their own zealous agendas.

I'm not arguing about Israel and the Palestinians here, to me that's a huge (and separate) issue: I'm arguing that this affair is pointless in result, and extremely damaging for the union. I predict harm will come from this, before at some point the resolution is quietly dropped.

Already the union has been ridiculed by its own members. Even a former NUJ president has added her weight to the argument. Although not exactly clean of muck itself, our government is none too pleased either...

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