National Union of Journalists Delegates Meeting 2012: Resolution on reporting of issues affecting disabled people

NUJ Delegates Meeting 2012 statement on media coverage and reporting of issues relating to disabled people

DM 2012 Newcastle 5 – 7 October 2012

127 (covering amendment)

This DM commends NUJ members for continued efforts to promote good practice covering issues affecting disabled workers, including the UK government’s reforms of the benefit system.

It notes, however, that as well as some examples of excellent reporting there has also been coverage that plays to the Government’s cuts agenda by emphasising erroneous claims.

DM believes some of this negative coverage has been encouraged and material supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions and stresses any leaks or press releases from such bodies should be given due scrutiny as would be expected from an independent, unbiased media.

DM also acknowledges this is not only good journalism but also helps to avoid journalists being used as government propagandists, particularly when such coverage creates a blame culture and also contributes directly to making disabled people targets for hate crime.

This DM therefore instructs the NEC to campaign to:
v  raise awareness that NUJ members agree to uphold a code of conduct as a membership condition and that fair reporting of issues affecting disabled workers and other discriminated sections of society is at the heart of the code;
v  encourage members to question press releases from official sources and to balance government comments with information from disabled people who are campaigning for disability rights and human rights;
v  emphasize that such ethical journalism is better delivered in workplaces that have some level of collective strength as unionized workforces more effectively counter commercial and political pressures that insidiously encourage poor practice;
v  promote union membership among all workers handling news and information (including PRs and website practitioners) to increase the quality and accountability of journalism (through joint memberships wherever available);
v  encourage other unions and any organisation concerned with ethical journalism to promote the principle of “union work for union members” wherever possible deal with NUJ members.
LNM 17
This DM congratulates Channel 4 for its brilliant coverage of the Paralympics (29 Aug – 9 Sept), in particular how presenters and journalists with disabilities were at the forefront of their coverage.

DM hopes that Channel 4 will continue this practice, which has helped bring disabled people into the spotlight and show that many are capable of doing these jobs.

However, DM condemns the government’s attempts to use the success of paralympians to attack disabled people who depend on benefits and condemns the cuts being imposed on these benefits that are absolutely essential to their ability to live. DM further condemns the closure of the Remploy factories that gave so many disabled people a chance to work in an accessible environment as gross hypocrisy from a government that claims to be trying to help bring disabled people into the workplace. DM furthermore condemns the role of the private company ATOS in these political machinations.

DM instructs the NEC to support organisations fighting cuts to disability benefits, in particular Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

7 thoughts on “National Union of Journalists Delegates Meeting 2012: Resolution on reporting of issues affecting disabled people

  1. kelpimare says:

    I’m a simple soul so, deep breath, dare I believe the Tory strangled on our press is about to be broken???!! Forgive my lack of faith but…..I’ll believe when the BBC and diverse newspapers denounce this unelected government, without either mandate or honesty, for the liars that they undoubtedly are.

  2. DAVID A SHAW says:

    They really should get a grip on this, using legislation, the very thing cameron fears. Leveson would stop the likes of IDS and grayling spouting lies without fear of action against them. We need press legislation simply to give us a right to reply and a right to take legal action. This sadly is only something the wealthy can do, even mosely said that on the radio and commented that it was not a fair situation.

  3. K Peake says:

    The system is rigged. The extraordinarily privileged and expensively educated 7% keep control and everyone else down by occupying 50% of the senior, decision-making roles in Westminster and Whitehall. The more kindly among them need a nudge to give a sh** about the failing country they are fortunate enough to own and run. Sign the petition:

    The DWP once accommodated braincells and was encouraging employers to make it physically and environmentally possible for disabled people to work with them, as well as to have the odd nervous breakdown, hospital appointment and collapse without being booted back onto welfare again. They called this excellent scheme “Positive About Disabled People”. To sign up you needed only to be capable of acknowledging that health conditions existed and willing to accommodate them.

    However, it works, which is terribly confusing and threatening, and it requires skilful management, so it was abandoned in favour of stigma, persecution, slave labour, genocide and a fight to the death to become an undeveloped nation (

    Yet they managed to sell the idea to 250 employers before wandering off in the direction of the Nuremberg rally, and here are those 250 employers willing to have any of the 1.3 million disabled jobseekers among us sit alongside them in their offices and communicate with them over the internet (this is more than the brain-dead DWP or Work Programme will tell you so be sure to share this list of disabled-friendly employers):

    Notice the only large media outfit on the list is Channel 4. Notice the complete absence of the press who claim we are work-shy cheats but don’t and won’t or haven’t thought to, if you want to be nice about it, employ us themselves. They have held this position passionately for years now, never thinking to so much as glance over their offices or employment practises or the history of disability despite several decades worth of research available to them at the click of a button and despite obviously not having any personal experience to draw from or any imagination or many brain cells and despite claiming to be journalists.

    The UK press are charlatans at play which is to be pleasant about them. The fact that their stupid, incoherent, juvenile and unpleasant “position” continues to hold water tells you all you need to know about most of them and why it is deadly necessary for us all that they are made to be responsible. This would be nothing at all to ask any decent person.

  4. Serenity says:

    The con-dems and press are all off on jollies together riding their horses and socialising with their hands up each others jacksies!

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