NUJ releases anti-bullying guidelines

More work needs to be done to tackle the ‘culture of bullying’that exists in some newsrooms, according to a new report from the National Union of Journalists.

The newly published guidelines for editors and union reps coincide with the launch of an NUJ campaign to encourage employers to take workplace stress more seriously.

According to the union, bullying is still seen by some senior journalists as ‘normal and accepted conduct’and an effective way of ensuring staff meet deadlines.

But the NUJ argues that this approach is counter-productive, resulting in higher levels of absenteeism, stress-related illness and high staff turnover.

Bullies promoted

‘Some employers train their supervisory staff to bully workers into adhering to strict timetables, as they feel this is seen as strong management style,’the report found.

‘Therefore, some organisations condone or even encourage bullying. They sometimes adopt policies of employing or promoting bullies to more senior positions in management.”

The handbook, entitled Stop Bullying, urges members to ‘stand up together’when a colleague feels threatened at work.

The union is asking its representatives in individual newsrooms to urge their employers to carry out a full health and safety assessment on the impact of stress on journalists.

Its equality officer, Lena Calvert, said: ‘Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work, but too often this is not the case.

‘For someone who is bullied at work, it can be one of the worst experiences of their life and greatly affects their ability to do their job.”



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