On Tuesday of this week, over a few beers in the Ravensbourne Arms in Ladywell, there was launched a new branch of the National Union of Journalists. The Lewisham Branch of the NUJ will represent the 500+ members resident in the London Borough of Lewisham, other than those who opt to stay within their traditional trade sector groups.
In my case that was the 2,000+ strong London Freelance Branch, which does a stirling job in support of the very many self-employed journalists and other media workers based in the UK capital. I hope to maintain my association with the London Freelance Branch, even though I am no longer a member of that august body.
The creation of the Lewisham NUJ branch is indicative of a desire among many NUJ members in this vast city to have the union be more involved within local communities. The NUJ is a trade body, with all that implies, but its individual members are nonetheless citizens and residents of particular localities. As members of a local trade union organisation, we are in a better position to contribute collectively to community life. I endorse this move, and have been elected to serve Lewisham NUJ as its first chairman.
The domain lewishamnuj.org.uk has been registered, and the branch website will soon go live.
If you work in editorial, design or photography in newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, public relations or new media, as an employee or freelance, the NUJ is the union for you. If you live in Lewisham, and wish to join the NUJ, please feel free to contact me for details. You are assured of a warm welcome in Lewisham NUJ.