NUJ forum closed in argument over access

The owner of an NUJ-affiliated photographers’ forum who shut it down after a row with the union has launched his own independent site.

The site,, has already gained 50 members, according to the organiser Pete Jenkins.

Jenkins closed down the NUJ Photo discussion board earlier this month, following a dispute with NUJ Ireland’s general secretary about access to the site.

Seamus Dooley requested access to the site to respond to criticism of a controversial deal brokered with the Drogheda Independent to allow writers to carry cameras in return for a pay increase.

The deal would effectively have meant less work for the Independent News & Media-owned title’s only photographer – a freelance.

Jenkins said that the refusal to allow Dooley access was because he was not a photographer and because ‘the majority of the site’s members who had expressed an opinion did not want Dooley on the list”.

The Irish Executive Council subsequently voted to reject the Drogheda agreement and referred it to the Irish National Executive Council emergency committee, which endorsed the plan on 3 August. The NUJ Photo site was then closed on 6 August. Jenkins cited ‘irreconcilable differences’between himself and NUJ management.

In response, NUJ legal officer Roy Mincoff said: ‘Given that the Irish secretary and organiser had been criticised on NUJ Photo, the union felt it was only right that they be given the opportunity to see the site and respond.

‘Rather than comply with this reasonable request, the site operators decided to close it down.”

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