Roy Greenslade has a measured response to the Telegraph NUJ chapel’s strike vote. He sees a possibility of narrowing of the old distance between owners and managers on one side and the NUJ on the other.
I hope he is right. Somehow the NUJ survived the trauma of Wapping (Fleet Street’s move to new print technology) although that is no real analogy for what is happening now except that it marked a revolution in the way journalists worked.
But it is clear that like direct input, the internet revolution is going to happen. Whatever the effects on traditional print revenue (sales and advertising) for newspapers and magazines journalists and owners have a common interest in survival.
For journalists it is bound to mean changes in the way they work, the times they work and the ways they tell their stories. Good journalism is essential for continued success and any owners that see the changes as a way of cutting costs are myopic.
Businesses with entrenched management and unions will be much less agile than start-ups, backed by big investments, which can react quickly to the changes which will continue to come at an even greater pace.
The vote does not make a strike inevitable. It is a reason an honest dialogue of the open-minded.