05 May 2005

Daily Ireland

NUJ backs Daily Ireland workers in job crisis

The National Union of Journalists announced yesterday that it will raise concerns about the Irish and British governments’ treatment of Daily Ireland ‘as a matter of urgency’.
Irish Secretary, Seamus Dooley, expressed alarm at reports from both the management and staff of Daily Ireland that the newspaper has been subjected to political vetting and systematic discrimination.
Describing the reports as “deeply disturbing”, Mr Dooley said: “The NUJ supports the concept of editorial diversity and any discrimination against a newspaper on the grounds of politics would be totally
unacceptable.
“The NUJ will be raising this issue with the Irish and British governments as a matter of urgency,” he said.
Mr Dooley’s comments follow the agreement of a resolution by the staff of Daily Ireland.
The resolution was agreed after an announcement by Daily Ireland management last week that jobs could be lost.
Management at the publication have lodged a landmark complaint with the North’s Equality Commission regarding the British government’s ban on advertising with Daily Ireland.
Prior to the publication of Daily Ireland on February 1, Irish Minister of Justice Michael McDowell made serious allegations about the newspaper which are now the subject of
litigation.
The following is the text of a motion passed by the Daily Ireland chapel:
“The Daily Ireland NUJ Chapel comprising news journalists, designers, sports journalists, sub-editors, features department and senior editorial staff have hereby resolved to:
(a) Publicly assert that the creation and development of Daily Ireland represents a highly significant contribution to the development of an inclusive media and progressive participative democracy on the island of Ireland.
(b) Publicly repudiate the sustained and cynical campaign of political vetting and systematic discrimination practiced against this newspaper by the Irish government and the British government (notably the Northern Ireland Office), particularly in the context of the commercial and political obstacles placed by both governments in the path of creating and maintaining sustainable employment within this newspaper.
(c) Publicly request the effective and immediate intervention to both governments of the National Union of Journalists, all other trade unionists, all other sections of the media, all political parties, the community and voluntary sector, human rights NGOs, the business community, and all other people of goodwill who wish to see the values of inclusive media and progressive participative democracy sustained on the island of
Ireland.”
NUJ national organiser Des Fagan has also expressed concern about the threat to jobs at Daily Ireland.
He called on the company to do everything possible to secure employment at the newspaper. Mr Fagan said the NUJ is committed to protecting employment at the newspaper.
“Our priority is to save jobs. In the event of job losses we will be seeking the best possible deal for our members but our earnest hope is that job losses can be averted," Mr Fagan said.






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