editor_170_113Trade Union and journalism development work between the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and the National Union of Journalists for the United Kingdom and Ireland is set to improve after NUJ branches pledged to support their Zimbabwean colleagues and their union through capacity building and exchange programmes.

NUJ branches in London, Belfast, Dublin, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow said they had already started fundraising to buy more desktops, laptops and cameras for the ZUJ resource centres which will be used mainly by freelance journalists and members pursuing further studies and research.

The first consignment of the research material of desktops and laptops is on its way to Zimbabwe.

Resource centres will be first established in Harare and Bulawayo and will spread to other provincial capitals of the country as more are availed.

Speaking in an interview during the NUJ congress, Chris Moley, the former NUJ president said they were exploring possibilities of hosting Zimbabwean journalists through exchange programmes which would double as mid career training opportunities on multi media.

ZUJ was invited to make a keynote presentation at this years NUJ congress on the partnership involving the two sister unions.

An organisation working with the NUJ is interested in funding fulltime university studies for young promising Zimbabwe based journalists to be conducted in Zimbabwe, South Africa or the UK.

The NUJ, led by its deputy secretary general, Michelle Stanistreet and the president of the International Federation of Journalists, IFJ, Jim Boumelha visited Zimbabwe in August on a solidarity mission with local journalists and met senior government officials from the MDC T, Zanu PF, MDC M and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

In their meetings, they discussed plans to fundraise and help improve the organisational capacity of ZUJ to effectively represent its members, intervene in providing mid career training with a bias to new media and a campaign to fight sexual harassment and gender discrimination against female journalists at the workplace.

The programme will seek to campaign to get more women to train as journalists and encourage them to be involved in journalism trade union work.

The November/December issue of the NUJ magazine, The Journalist, has an article about plans to launch the NUJ/ZUJ project and an insert supplement on the challenges that face Zimbabwean journalists and their needs.

The supplement which has been dispatched to the more than 38 000 NUJ members encourages its members to source money, laptops and cameras on behalf of the ZUJ/ NUJ project.

NUJ deputy secretary general, Michelle Stanistreet said they wanted to provide practical support to fellow journalists which would make it easier for them to earn a descent honest living while their union, ZUJ, would need improved capacity to better represent its members.

We can help by offering support and assistance in creating opportunities for professional and ethical training and looking at ways to help women find their voice- in the workplace and the union.

Ultimately, its about boosting the capacity of the ZUJ to better defend its members.

From Foster Dongozi in Liverpool, England

Post published in: News

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