- Student conference: 7 April 2011
- NUJ Delegate Meeting: 8 – 10 April 2011
- Venue: Southport
What’s on offer
Students will attend a one-day conference about the NUJ, student membership and organising and recruiting student journalists. This will be held from 11am on Thursday 7 April 2011. The day will also include a short training session on writing for the web and an explanation of how the work experience programme will run.
For the next two and a half days students will report the NUJ’s delegate meeting. The delegate meeting is the union’s policy-making conference. Delegates elected by regional branches will debate motions covering how the union should respond to challenges in the workplace and the wider world.
Students will report these debates using a mix of internet-based technologies, including a WordPress blog, live blogging, You Tube video and Twitter. This will be a managed work-experience project lead by a professional journalist, who will provide coaching and mentoring.
All travel, accommodation and meal expenses will be paid. Each student will be given an individual feedback session during the conference and a written report afterwards.
At the last conference, much of the student material was then re-used in the NUJ’s magazine, The Journalist, and students shared a pay out from that, amounting to £100 each. There is no guarantee this will be repeated – it will depend on the quality of the reporting.
The NUJ’s delegate meeting is also a great networking opportunity. Students will have a chance to meet journalist working in many sectors and geographic regions. In the past, some students have gone on to get work from contacts made at the delegate meeting. Again, no guarantees, but the opportunity is there.
Students will have time off during the event but we do expect a minimum level of commitment. This includes:
- Attending morning pre-conference briefings at 8.30 on Friday and Saturday and 9am Sunday morning
- Attending post-conference de-briefings each evening on Friday and Saturday and when conference closes on Sunday
- Report conference proceedings for at least part of each day
- Produce at least one piece of self-generated editorial content
We also expect a minimum standard of behaviour.
- The NUJ is a diverse union. Please respect that diversity.
- Please also respect other delegates’ feelings, privacy and property.
- Please show respect and consideration to NUJ staff and venue staff at all times.
- If you are sharing bedrooms in your hotel, bringing sexual partners back to your room is not acceptable.
- Nor is drug-taking, abusive behaviour or other anti-social activities.
- Avoid any behaviour that might be considered an unwanted sexual advance. This includes inappropriate comments, touching or suggestions.
- Remember that the NUJ and its branches have paid a substantial sum for you to be at the delegate meeting. Spending significant chunks of the conference in the bar away from proceedings is not acceptable.
There is no dress code. NUJ delegates will be wearing whatever they feel comfortable in. So should students. There is a dinner on the Saturday and, although dressing up is not compulsory, many delegates do chose to dress smartly for that so you may wish to bring a smart outfit with you.
We also need to know in advance of any special requirements. The NUJ is very good at providing support for people with disabilities, but we can only do so if told in advance. Please provide details, including mental health issues. Please also let us know if you have any special dietary needs.
How to apply
We are limited to 25 students. We would like all 25 to be available for the full four days covering the student conference and the NUJ’s delegate meeting. We will also need you to commit to working hard and making the most of the opportunities we are providing. Please only put yourself forward if you can commit to this and to our expected standards of behaviour.
Priority is given to students nominated by their branches. Student members may attend their local branch meetings and many have already got themselves nominated. Branches have been asked to sponsor students, but small and less well-off branches may nominate students without necessarily providing the sponsorship.
Assuming we do not receive 25 branch nominated students we will then consider student applications. We will need to know your university/college, your course details (including which year you are in), any student journalism activity (which student publication your work for), your areas of specialism (magazine journalism, broadcasting, photography etc) and your experience of using online reporting technologies, such as Twitter, You Tube and WordPress. Please also tell us when and why you joined the NUJ as a student and tell us about any activity you have been involved with within the NUJ.
Congratulations, you have all been elected or chosen to attend the student conference and work experience programme at the NUJ’s Delegate Meeting this April.
The conference and DM run from Thursday, April 7 to Sunday, April 10. Some of you may not have received the note we sent out earlier giving basic details about the conference so that is attached. Please note what is expected of you and the code of conduct. Can you please all confirm that you are available for these dates by replying to this email. By confirming attendance you also agree to abide by the code of conduct. If you cannot come for whatever reason, we have many other students who do wish to come, so please let us know at once.
Getting to the conference
We ask that you organise your travel arrangements now to ensure they are not too expensive. We recommend you come by train where appropriate. You will need to pay for your travel initially, but the Union will reimburse you for the cost when you arrive at the student conference, please ensure that you bring along receipts detailing the cost. We are sorry to have to do this but we have had a number of students who did not arrive in the past, wasting our money and depriving somebody else of a place, so we ask that you pay your travel as a deposit on the conference. If you have a particular problem with meeting the cost now please let us know as soon as possible.
The student conference begins at 11am on the Thursday. If train or flight timetables mean you cannot arrive on time on that day, please travel to Southport the day before. We will arrange an extra night at the hotel for you, we just need to know well in advance.
Please let us know your travel arrangements within the next week, including the cost so we can have the right amount set out for of the first day of the conference.
If you are arriving by train, the station is within walking distance of the hotel and conference centre, so unless you have a mobility issue or plan on bringing a lot of equipment we will not cover the cost of a taxi.
Now is also the time to tell us of any special requirements you may have including accommodation, diet and accessibility. The NUJ has strong equal opportunities policies and a wealth of experience coping with a range of physical and mental health issues and dietary needs. Nothing you tell us will have any impact on your attending. The key is that if you let us know in good time we can organise things to make life easier for you. Please – no surprises.
What to bring
We will have use of Apple Mac computers but you may find it easier if you can bring your own laptop to work on. If you have photography equipment please bring as much as you feel appropriate. The same goes for broadcasting equipment. Please note you will be responsible for your own equipment at all times. We will have use of a room that will have student coordinators and NUJ staff on duty the whole time but anything left in that room will be left at the owner’s risk.
Closer to the conference we will be making more specific requests, but for now please just factor in any equipment you want to bring into your travel arrangements and start booking your travel.
Thanks for confirming your attendance. Those of you who haven’t gotten back to us with travel expenses we need that asap, otherwise we won’t have the money ready for you when you arrive in Southport.
We have set up a Facebook group so we can all start to get to know each other before we meet. We will be sending you an invite to join separately. We can use that to discuss issues and help each other out.
We will aim to send you an email each week with some more instructions and advice to help you come to the Delegate Meeting (DM) fully prepared, ready to get the most out of it. This week we will look at some of the technology we will use.
We will be using a range of technologies to report the DM and we will be experimenting with new ideas. It would be great if you could familiarise yourself with as much as possible in advance. Don’t get scared by all this. Just learn as much as you feel comfortable with. Not everyone will have to do every job and those of you with specialist skills, such as audio, video and photography, will be able to focus on your areas of expertise. But we will try to stretch everyone to get the best from you. So if you are normally a writer, have a try at some audio or video, for example.
1. WordPress. We will using an installed WordPress website. If you have never used WordPress, sign up for a free WordPress blog at wordpress.com and practise – it will be very similar to the system we will use. You will need to be able to input text and images and insert You Tube video and other media. Have a play.
2. Twitter. We will be using Twitter to report the delegate meeting. We will set up specific twitter accounts for you use but you should also have your own account. If you have not already got one, set one up please. And practice using it – we recommend installing Tweetdeck on your computer. We will use the hashtag #nujdm. Ideally we’d want people to be able to retweet our tweets. This means we are going to need to try to report in chunks of just 110 characters (if @mediaguardian retweet us it will begin @mediaguardian @nujdm12 #nujdm – 30 characters). So practise sending tweets that are that just 110 characters.
3. Mobile phones. Apple iPhones and Android phones seem to have the best range of apps for mobile reporting, but whatever phone you have, see what it can do in terms of taking photos, recording audio and video. See if you can easily and quickly attach photos to tweets. If you have the latest iPod nano, it too can record audio and video. Look into what it can do.
4. Online accounts. Please set up an account with Audioboo, You Tube and Flickr if you have not already got them. Try uploading audio, video and photos – both from your computer and from your mobile phone. Every phone can operate twitter and Tweetdeck is available for iPhones and Android phones. Many phones can upload audio to Audioboo and video to You Tube or photos to twitter. See what your phone can do. See what more you can achieve from your computer.
We have just secured a Pro account with Audioboo (normally costing £3,000). This allows us to produce longer audio and to download edit and reuse our recordings. The first thing we can do is allow you upload longer recording. We will set this at 30 minutes instead of the standard maximum of 5 minutes. Let us know your Audioboo account name as soon as you can please.
That’s enough to be going on with. See how you get on with that lot.
We’re getting closer and closer to Delegate Meeting: I hope you’re all suitably excited.
For this week’s task we’d like you to investigate the NUJ. You’ll need to familiarise yourself with:
- How many members the NUJ has and in what sectors they work.
- What categories of membership there are and what the criteria are for becoming a member.
- What the difference is between a chapel and a branch. How chapels and branches work. What the aims and purpose are of NUJ branches and chapels, who goes and what happens at the
meetings. (Please contact a chapel near you and/or your local branch, if you have not already done so).
- How the NUJ is linked to other union/labour organisations, locally, nationally internationally.
- Why it is important to become a full NUJ member when you go out to work.
- How the NUJ’s delegate meeting makes decisions.
Can you investigation these points and send us a short summary of what you’ve learnt? This will help you understand the delegate meeting, which is important.
We also need short profiles from most of you which we can put on the website. The introductions you’ve posted on Facebook are too informal and for some of you far too short. We need around five sentence explaining what and where you are studying, what your main interests are and what you specialize in. Please include links to any blogs, etc you want to reference.
Remember, these will be the profiles delegates at the meeting see, so you will want to present yourselves in the best possible light.
One final point: can you all please send us details of an emergency contact asap. We’ll need a name, address, home and mobile phone numbers and what their relationship with you is.
Can you please get your summaries and profile in by Sunday. We’ll need the emergency contact details as soon as possible.
Thanks everyone and see you all soon,
We will be using Flickr to host our photos. We have set up a group called NUJDM2011. Please put your DM Photos in this group. These basics apply to everyone taking photos. There are some extra tips for the specialist photographers too, at the end.
Flickr is a commonly used photo hosting service for the web and for web users. It is not considered a professional photographers’ hosting service but it is used by many to showcase examples of their work. Make sure your real name is visible as well as your username.
Make sure your contact details on Flickr are up to date and you are set to receive notification when anyone comments on your photos. The comment may be someone wanting to buy usage of your pic and if you do not get in touch quickly, that could be a sale lost.
You need to consider file sizes. We only need the photos to be a maximum of 600 pixels wide and they only need to be at 72ppi/dpi. Restricting you photos to this size will mean they cannot be used in print as they will not be of a high enough resolution. But it will speed up the upload time. There are Flickr upload programmes you can install on your computer to speed this too.
For our purposes, we will not need to download your photos. We will be inserting them into the website by linking to the photos (sharing). If you wish to disable downloading, please do so before we begin (see the copyright section).
Editing and processing
Please edit and crop your photos too so that you only upload the best photos, already cropped. For most speakers, please only upload one or two photos – a portrait and a landscape shot.
Please put your byline on the photos too. We will not have a separate picture credit so this will help people identify who took the photos.
You will need to process information about each photo too. The usual journalistic six Ws apply: Who? What? Where? When? Why and How (often how much/many)? Answer as many of those questions as apply. So, if for example, you take a picture of Jeremy Dear at the rostrum with people behind him, you will need to makes sure that information is inserted in the photo’s description. This might read: NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear at the rostrum of delegate meeting 9 April 2011 speaking on BBC cuts. Behind him from l to r, Michelle Stanistreet…..
You will also need to put relevant tags on the photos, including NUJ and NUJDM.
You will need to make sure you have your Flickr settings correct. For professional photographers, the NUJ recommends you keep your copyright setting to all rights reserved and you disable downloading. I have attached an article from Pete Jenkins of the Photographers’ Committee about copyright in general.
You should understand the various forms of creative commons and other copyright options and why people might chose to operate under those, even if they are not appropriate for commercial photographers.
Professional photographers will also need to consider adding meta information their photos and how they process them speedily. Some members of the Photographers Committee have offered to help discuss this with you. The London Photographers Branch will also have members on hand to help out. Make the most of these opportunities to learn and to network.
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