London Freelance Branch meetings

LFB meetings are at 6:45pm sharp on the second Monday of each month (except August). They are at NUJ HQ, Headland House, 72 Acton Street WC1X 9NB: go directly to the meeting schedule (or to this month's motions.)

Meetings this year start 15 minutes earlier than previously.
[NUJ London Freelance Branch]

For the benefit of members coming in from shifts and so on, there are sandwiches.

Please check back here - meeting subjects and speakers inevitably change from time to time. To be sure of receiving our monthly email alert and virtual Freelance listing, give us your details at www.londonfreelance.org/linkup.

Volunteer minute-takers are still needed for some Branch meetings. Please contact a committee member if you are interested: see contacts.

NOTE that under the Branch rules any motion for a meeting must be sent, in writing, to the Freelance editors ten days before the meeting date: see below for a handy form for submitting motions. See here for guidance on Tweeting and recording meetings.

The Branch also organises meetings for members new to freelance journalism, to meet other people new to the Branch and members with more experience of freelance journalism. These take place at the Camera Café, Museum Street, London WC1A 1LY (map) on the last Thursday of every third month from 6pm: check specific announcements in the Freelance.

Date Speaker/subject
Mon Jan 14 Annual General Meeting: elected the Committee and amended the rules. See reports from Branch officers.
Thu Jan 31 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon Feb 11 How three new freelances make a living
Mon Mar 11 "Dr. Brexit" advice session with Alison Stanley, Joint Head of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Team at Bindmans Solicitors
Mon Apr 08

We discussed problems faced by writers and photographers covering complex protests such as the Gilets Jaunes in France - not to be confused with the few all-far-right yellow-jacketed ones in London because they're far more confusing, though some are just as likely to attack journalists. Our panel was Natasha Hirst, Guy Smallman, Nigel Dickinsion (of NUJ Paris Branch) and our Chair Pennie Quinton.

Thu Apr 25 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon May 13

We will be discussing how to make more money in specialist fields.

Our speakers are all specialists in a particular field - not that they don't do other stuff: they're freelances. We've asked them to talk about the good and bad of work availability in their fields, fees, which type of media and outlets are looking promising/dying at the moment, how far is their specialist market a buffer against difficulties/how far do they want/need to step outside it, how they're tackling the problems with more or less success and generally staying in the game in this tricky time for most. And please bring your own experiences to bear in discussion after they've talked for a bit.

The speakers are:

  • Travel - Nori Jemil: (www.norijemil.com) writer, videographer and award-winning photographer (British Guild Of Travel Writers Photographer Of The Year 2018), she's a regular contributor to National Geographic Traveller (UK).
  • Science - Kelly Oakes: (@kahoakes) former science editor for BuzzFeed UK, now writing for New Scientist, BBC Future, Nature News, and more.
  • Cycling - Laura Laker: (@Lakerlikes) writer/editor who covers the transport, environment and occasionally sporting aspects for the Guardian, Sunday Times, BBC, and Sky among others.

We also expect elections for the vacant post of co-Secretary, Negotiations Officer and other vacant Committee posts in this meeting: see here for job descriptions.

Mon Jun 10 To be announced
Mon Jul 08 To be announced
Thu Jul 25 Meeting for members new to freelancing
August No meeting
Mon Sep 09 To be announced
Mon Oct 14 To be announced
Thu Oct 31 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon Nov 11 To be announced
Mon Dec 09 Almost certainly, a Branch social event, at Headland House.
Mon Jan 13 2020 Annual General Meeting 2020: elects a new Committee. More notes on what it does here.

The Branch Committee welcomes suggestions for speakers and topics for meetings: contact editor@londonfreelance.org.

Headland House is accessible to people who use wheelchairs. The nearest stops on the Tube are King's Cross St Pancras (Victoria, Picadilly, Northern Line City Branch, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and, when the Moon is full, the Circle Line).

If you need the Branch to pay for care for a dependant to be able to attend a meeting, contact a Branch officer.

Motions for the May meeting

Video consortium event

This Branch resolves to host an event on 12 June to showcase the work of freelance non-fiction filmmakers. This will be a two-hour event with film screenings / Q&A hosted by LFB and Video Consortium. VC run events in cities around the world and have just launched a London chapter, which is run by volunteer video journalists, so a great opportunity to connect NUJ with a wider creative audience. The cost for the NUJ basement room hire is £145 including VAT.

World Press Freedom event

This Branch resolves to explore participation in the World Press Freedom event [organised by the Commonwealth Office] in London.

  • More detail on this will appear as an amendment.
The motions archive - 2019

Motions for the April meeting

Wapping film
passed

London Freelance Branch agrees to respond to the appeal for funds from Platform Films, working with the News International Dispute Archive, to complete the documentary film Wapping, the Workers' Story.

The branch recalls its own support for the fight by printworkers and journalists together to resist the bullying management of Rupert Murdoch as he amassed the media empire that did so much damage to British society, culture and politics; especially the part played by NUJ members who sacrificed their own jobs and careers.

The branch applauds the fact this film is being made, to keep alive the memory of a heroic resistance to unacceptable media power and agrees to donate £500 to the project.

World Press Freedom event
held over

This Branch resolves to explore participation in the World Press Freedom event [organised by the Commonwealth Office] in London.

  • More detail on this will appear as an amendment.

Video consortium event
held over

This Branch resolves to host an event on 12 June to showcase the work of freelance non-fiction filmmakers. This will be a two-hour event with film screenings / Q&A hosted by LFB and Video Consortium. VC run events in cities around the world and have just launched a London chapter, which is run by volunteer video journalists, so a great opportunity to connect NUJ with a wider creative audience. The cost for the NUJ basement room hire is £145 including VAT.

Motions for the March meeting

Brexit advice
passed

This Branch resolves, to help branch members who are EU citizens working in the UK and UK members working in the EU or for EU clients, to commit up to £500 to support, in the event of Brexit happening, if required, one or two "Dr Brexit" advice sessions with a specialist solicitor - these to be organised, if required, by NUJ staff lawyer Roy Mincoff (estimated total cost £1000 a time).

Motions for the Annual General Meeting

Branch Standing Orders: officers
passed

In Standing Order 6 replace the words
"a Training Officer"
with the words
"up to two Training Officers"

Branch Standing Orders: treatment of fellow journalists
passed, amended to include "sex" before "gender"

NOTE: This was passed as policy at the meeting in July 2018 and this motion incorporates it formally into Standing Orders.

Insert into the Branch Standing Orders as item 4:

All Branch members shall treat fellow journalists and members with respect and with sensitivity toward equality issues relating to gender identity, sexuality, age, nationality, race, religion, disability, class background, legal status and marital status. The branch aims to be an inclusive and supportive space where all members feel equally welcome and encouraged to contribute and take part. Where branch members experience conduct that falls short of this, they are encouraged to approach the branch's Welfare Officers to discuss how to address and resolve the situation.

Renumber subsequent points in Standing Orders.

Speakers at Branch meetings
passed, amended as indicated.

London Freelance Branch welcomes the range of guest speakers arranged for branch meetings.

The Branch resolves to invite speakers to all meetings except the AGM and instructs the branch committee to follow the following principles as much as possible in selecting them:

  • There should be no more than two speakers at any meeting;
  • There must be a good balance of speakers in terms of gender, race and age;
  • If speakers are working journalists eligible for NUJ membership they either must be members of the NUJ or another relevant union such as the BECTU sector of Prospect or have applied for membership;
  • Speakers will have expenses reimbursed (including overnight stay if necessary) but not be paid a fee;

If branch business is pressing, the Chair may delay the start of the speeches but not beyond the limit of allowing one hour within the standing orders (that is, by suspending the SOs to extend the meeting for up to half an hour).

Motions for the normal Janary Meeting

Confirmation of Freelance Salon funding
passed

This Branch formally confirms the decision of the November 2018 meeting to underwrite the Salon event by a further sum up to £300.

NOTE: The actual expenditure required from Branch Funds will be reported at the January 2019 meeting.

Solidarity with journalists in Afghanistan
passed

This Branch resolves to approach the Union's General Secretary, Chair of Policy Committee and Communications Officer to co-ordinate a request to chapels and other branches to contribute to building links with the journalists' union(s) in Afghanistan, including a possible delegation to that country.

Solidarity with journalists in Cumbria
passed, amended to £200

This Branch resolves to donate £100; to the hardship fund for NUJ members at Newsquest Cumbria who held a one-day strike on 20 December 2018 over a pay freeze and cuts.

The Branch notes that the strikers have lost a day's pay - a piddling £79 in some cases - and are contemplating further action.