Get Organised: National Union of Journalists

21 August 2020

In our ongoing campaign to shine a light on the support provided by writers’ organisations, we focus on the sterling work of the National Union of Journalists.

Founded in 1907, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is one of the biggest journalists’ unions in the world and currently has over 30,000 members. It represents a broad range of media professionals; striving to improve the pay and conditions of its members, as well as protecting and promoting media freedom, professionalism and ethical standards.

The NUJ is an active union which is represented in towns and cities all over the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe. Its members campaign and negotiate to ensure they are properly rewarded for the skilled work they do, and its freelance office advises on fees, contracts, copyright, employment rights, insurance and assists in pursuing late payers.

Representing journalists working in a broad variety of roles, its members also include photographers, producers, bloggers, podcasters, press officers and communications officers, among many other creative professions. Some of its members working in magazines, books, PR and communications don’t call themselves journalists but they are still members of the union.

Covid-19 support

The union has been active in its support of its members during the Covid-19 crisis, including promotion of NUJ Extra, its hardship fund, and the launch of the News Recovery Plan in April 2020, which calls on the Government to support journalists across the UK and Ireland through a sustained stimulus package. Proposed measures of this recovery plan include tax credits and interest free loans to support journalist jobs for frontline reporters covering the Covid-19 crisis and recovery; employee representation of 25% on executive boards that receive public funding; and support for a global framework to improve press freedom.

Find out more about the Covid-19 support NUJ are providing at this time, as well as the full details of the News Recovery Plan, here.

Benefits of being an NUJ member

The are many benefits of being an NUJ member including:

  • Pay and conditions: the NUJ helps negotiate pay rates, hours, staffing issues and, in a unionised workplace, you can get more annual leave.
  • Legal support: every year, the NUJ helps members win damages from employers and clients.
  • Training: the union provides training for members.
  • Contacts: NUJ members can contact each other to ask questions and offer solidarity and support.

Read more about the benefits of NUJ membership here. To check your eligibility for NUJ membership, you can email: recruit@nuj.org.uk.

Join the NUJ

The NUJ represents members in the following sectors:

  • newspapers and agencies
  • broadcasting
  • magazines
  • books
  • PR and communications
  • freelance
  • new media

There is also a specific category of membership for student journalists.

Find out more about how to join the NUJ here.