Online only, so far

LFB in solidarity with City lecturers on strike

AN EVENT featuring speakers from London Freelance Branch for journalism students at City, University of London, was due to take place on 2 December. As with previous successful events at City, and at Roehampton and UEL, the format was to have been an introduction to freelancing and some of the issues around it – invoicing, late payments, copyright and so on - with an opportunity for questions afterwards. Such events have resulted in a recent surge in new student members joining LFB.

LFB speaking to students at City University in 2018; Photo: Francesca Marchese

Branch members addressed students at City University in 2018

However, it became clear that a strike over pension by members of lecturers' union UCU - including the teaching staff hosting the event - would be in effect on the day of the meeting. The lecturer who invited us then took the decision to cancel, which the LFB Committee understood and supported. The LFB team organising recruitment events at journalism schools on principle does not cross picket lines to do so. (The NUJ has a dual membership agreement with UCU, some journalism lecturers are members of both.)

LFB hopes to be arranging other talks for various groups of students at City during 2020 along with other journalism schools and unis in area around London. There is an already an event featuring LFB arranged for 26 February following an invitation by the University of Winchester.

If you have good connections with senior journalism lecturers at one of London's leading journalism schools and may be able to facilitate making contact with them, please get in touch by email with LFB Committee's Phil Sutcliffe.

Outgoing LFB Membership and New Members Secretary Francesca Marchese notes that as a result of LFB's activity around journalism schools, students joining NUJ were up from 742 in the period October 2017-September 2018 to 1,387 in the same period in 2018-2019. The majority of new student members of LFB are female.