On Monday night the first meeting of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) since the 1990s was held on the Isle of Wight.
Most NUJ members on the Island will be part of the Solent Branch – meetings of which are usually held over the water in Portsmouth.
For over a year, a meeting on the Island has been planned to launch the new name (see below) and Monday night saw around twenty members present. Members included many from the Island, some County Press staff, two from OnTheWight and Island-based freelancers.
Click on image to see larger version
Image: © Habibur Rahman
An Isle of Wight branch?
Among regular business, there was a discussion on whether the Isle of Wight should set up its own NUJ Branch.
In the absence of an Isle of Wight branch being created (it can take a long time to set up) it was debated as to whether a working group could be an alternative. A representative from the working group could then report back to the main Solent Branch every month.
The working group would have the advantage of Isle of Wight issues being discussed here, including valuable input from members with 40+ years experience. The possibility of main branch meetings being held on the Island every few months was also raised.
Chair: “We’ll be back”
Pauline Norris, Chair of the Solent Branch, told OnTheWight,
“It was a wonderful turn out for the launch of Solent Branch.
“Good to know that the NUJ is alive and well on the island. We’ll definitely be back for a branch meeting next year.”
Renamed from Portsmouth to Solent NUJ
After all business was completed, a delicious cake celebrating the change of branch name from Portsmouth to Solent was scoffed by all.
— Lucy Benton (@LucyBentonUK) September 18, 2017
Changes in the IW media landscape
There has been a significant recent change in the media landscape on the Isle of Wight with County Press directors selling out to Newsquest.
What’s clear is that a closer relationship between journalistic colleagues on either side of the Solent is underway.
Amendment to reason the meeting was held on the Island, which was apparently a year in the planning, not a recent decision.
Image: © Meeting images by Habibur Rahman