National Union of Journalists meets with SWU to discuss media guidelines

National Union of Journalists & Social Workers Union

Representatives from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) heard first-hand how media reporting can affect social workers at a meeting last week.

Following publication of the guidelines for reporting on social workers earlier in the year, SWU representatives have been holding meetings with media organisations to discuss the proposals.

The guidelines have now been discussed with media regulators at IMPRESS and IPSO which regulate the majority of print and online media in the UK. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) represents reporters on those titles as well as from organisations such as the BBC, ITV, and Sky News. The union also counts freelance journalists and press officers among its membership.

SWU General Secretary John McGowan met with the Chair of the NUJ’s ethics council, Professor Chris Frost and its Senior Campaigns & Communications Officer, Bea Adi.

Joining SWU General Secretary John McGowan at the meeting were representatives from BASW and Campaign Collective who have worked on the guidance.

As well as discussing the impact poor reporting has on the lives of social workers, the meeting uncovered a shared concern that representative bodies – such as unions and professional associations – are often prevented from bringing privacy complaints on behalf of members.

Following on from the meeting, the NUJ has offered its support to spread the word about the new guidelines among its members and among lecturers in journalism. SWU, BASW, and the NUJ will also work together to help educate social workers about the relevant complaints procedures which exist and examine future ways of working together.