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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

NUJ does not speak for British journalism


Saturday 21st April : Release time immediate

Britain’s senior professional organisation for journalists, the Council of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, expressed its dismay on Saturday, 21st April, at several unprofessional political motions agreed at last week-end’s annual delegate meeting of the National Union of Journalists.

“The Institute has been approached by a number of organisations and newspapers asking if we share the same views as the NUJ on this matter,” said Dominic Cooper, CIoJ General Secretary. “We do not and never will do.”

“The statements made by the NUJ are a matter for that organisation and do not reflect the views of all British journalists or this Institute. Journalism is reporting facts, reporting what happens in the world,” said Dominic Cooper, CIoJ General Secretary. “It is not about taking a political stand and calling for boycotts.”

One of the NUJ’s motions called on its journalist members to boycott Israel.

“While journalists may hold their own personal opinions on contentious issues such as the Middle East, it is not appropriate for the NUJ to encourage a blanket boycott because they do not like a particular government,” commented Cooper.

“The NUJ’s position on this is totally unacceptable to the Institute. Professional journalists report facts and events. We in the CIoJ do not give instructions to our members about what to say or what not to say.”

The Institute’s Council agreed the following statement at its meeting on Saturday, 21st April, 2007:

“In view of the partisan and political motions passed at the recent NUJ annual conference, the Chartered Institute of Journalists wishes to make clear that:

1 There is more than one organisation for working journalists in the United Kingdom

2 Though individual journalists should be free to hold and support political views, as a matter of principle the CIoJ does not do so

3 In support of its non-political status, the CIoJ does not affiliate to or support any political party, the TUC or any other organisation with political aims, except where those aims are devoted to improving the status and working conditions of professional journalists

4 The CIoJ deprecates any attempt to involve its membership in international boycotts and similar actions that could call into question the reporting objectivity that forms the basis of professional journalism throughout the world

5 It further deprecates the impression given that the standards of British journalism are lower than in other countries

6 The CIoJ, a friendly and efficient organisation, welcomes membership applications from all working journalists sharing similar principles and aspirations.



The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) was founded in 1884 as the National Association of Journalists, receiving its Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1890, when its name was changed to the Institute of Journalists (IoJ). The NUJ began as a breakaway from the IoJ in 1907. In 1990, to celebrate its Charter Centenary and at the suggestion of the Privy Council, the Institute’s name was changed again to the Chartered Institute of Journalists. Membership of its trade union component, the Institute of Journalists (Trade Union), is barred to any journalist with hire-and-fire responsibilities over other journalists, unlike the NUJ (which is open to certain classes of employers, such as agency proprietors). Though most are located in the United Kingdom, the CIoJ has members in more than thirty countries worldwide.

PRESS CONTACT: Dominic Cooper, General Secretary, CIoJ, 020 7252 1187.