NUJ guidelines

Official guidelines on reporting poverty

Church Action on Poverty encourages all journalists to follow the National Union of Journalists' official guidelines on reporting poverty. We have worked with the NUJ to produce a guide for journalists - and this video to promote the guidelines:

The guidelines say that the NUJ:

  • believes that the development of discriminatory language and the demonisation of the working poor and benefit recipients, through the use of stereotypes and misinformation, is an insult to workers, trade union organisations and readers.
  • believes that its members as trade unionists cannot avoid a measure of responsibility in fighting stereotypes of the working poor and benefit recipients as expressed through the mass media.
  • reaffirms its total opposition to censorship but equally the union reaffirms its belief that press freedom must be conditioned by responsibility and an acknowledgement by all media workers to resolve not to allow press freedom to be abused to slander a section of the community.
  • believes that newspapers and magazines should not originate material which encourages discrimination on grounds of being working poor or a benefit recipient.
  • believes that editors should ensure that coverage of social security stories should be placed in a balanced context.
  • will continue to monitor the development of media coverage in this area and give support to members seeking to enforce the above aims.

Our guide, Reporting Poverty, draws on the words of people in poverty to suggest how journalists could apply the guidelines in practice. You can click here to download it, or read it below:

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