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Reporter suspended in video row

A journalist at the Glagsow Herald and Times group has been suspended after refusing to take a video camera out on a vox pop.

The man was suspended last week and has not been back to work since.

Jim McNally, assistant organiser for the National Union of Journalists Scotland, said: “He had never used one before and had not been given any training, no induction or the opportunity to practice.

“We encourage people to take on additional skills but the idea of being given a camera with a few minutes notice is hardly adequate.”

“There was no risk assessment done for the use of cameras in general.

“The BBC do risks assessment and some cases they will hire security because cameras attract crowds.”

Mr McNally added that there would be a meeting between the NUJ and Newsquest management next week who, he said, were considering the incident gross misconduct.

A spokeswoman for the Herald and Times said they would not be commenting on the incident.


Lister (03/04/2009 12:28:03)
When spokeswomen decline to comment, doesn’t that make their position redundant?

James T (03/04/2009 12:47:15)
This is a disgrace! Journalists should be prepared to do anything to hang on their jobs! My shoes very much need a polish, my car needs valeting and I dont much feel like hitting Sainsbury’s on a Friday afternoon. If there are any reporters or photographers in the Midlands are reading this perhaps they can get in touch. Toodlepip.James T

Zinedine (03/04/2009 13:09:37)
Good on him for standing up for himself. I hate that kind of attitude from local papers, its no wonder so many of them are going to the wall – everybody wants video content these days it seems, but no one is prepared to pay out so that it can be done properly.

Ravendarque (03/04/2009 13:12:34)
Reading between the lines, I’d say this is more about a professional journalist wanting to do whatvhe does well, whereas he was asked, unreasonably to use an unfamiliar medium with which he would likely produce a below-par result which in turn would affect his professional reputation.

scooped (03/04/2009 13:15:34)
Surely they could have just asked someone else to do it and then showed him how to film later in the day then none of this would have happened! Do they have a staff training policy?!
It doesn’t say how old this reporter was. I’m quite young so know how to use technology but for the older hacks – the ones who can get a front page in a phone call – the new era is perhaps a little daunting.
At first I did find the cameras challenging as I was worried the quality in my filming would be embarrassing.

john doe (03/04/2009 15:20:04)
This is another example of corporate greed in the same vein as Sir Fred Goodwin – but newspapers! I used to work for a famous newspaper company who got reporters to first sub their own stories, add headlines and fit to pages before getting them to make videos.The reward for these additional roles and skills – a new fancy job title and no extra pay.

Long-time sub (03/04/2009 16:41:58)
Shouldn’t it be “opportunity to practise”?

chris gaynor (03/04/2009 17:53:20)
Put it this way would you let someone out in a JCB? I think not. So what’s the difference here? If the man asked for training, his employer should have the decency to give it.
Another example of arrogant and out of touch newspaper industry.

Meldrew (06/04/2009 09:29:07)
That’ll be why so many newspaper websites look amateurish and unprofessional then…

Ma Supial (06/04/2009 09:58:19)
I felt the same way about the new office kettle. But under threat of suspension, I relented and decided to take the risk.

Graham Thorndike (Jr) (06/04/2009 13:48:43)
I’m not an expert, but I think you point it at the person, press START. Then when you’ve finished, you press STOP. It might be worth giving it a try.

ellie hunt (08/04/2009 15:02:20)
Thorndike Jnr has it SO wrong. That is why 99 per cent of the videos are boring crap. You cannot just press start and the stop. The bit in between matters a lot.
Pro photographers should be doing this not forced cheap labour. Anyway, how much money do videos they make? Zilch.