Why I Support Democracy (I know, it’s a very controversial position)

7 03 2014

Great points raised by Charles Firth re: MEAA

#MEAAneedsDemocracy

MEAA by Charles Firth

Whenever I bump into Chris Warren (usually at a booze up), I always make a bee line over to him to discuss one thing: term limits for union officials.

I do this partly because I like seeing his flushed, pink cheeks tense up with irritation, but also because I have been a frustrated member for many, many years.

Unless you’re of the generation where the Vietnam War was the major issue, you probably feel a similar level of frustration.

The MEAA’s business model has been broken for a long time. For years it seemed to be based on a rather optimistic hope that the internet would go away, so big newsrooms would come back into vogue.

It certainly has never worked out a way to become relevant to the thousands of independent production, digital media and PR professionals who aren’t quite journalists, aren’t quite actors, aren’t quite…

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2 responses

8 03 2014
the referral

There are several IMO & experience, chiefly the MEAA’s failure to reach out to people who don’t fit it’s prescriptive determination of who constitutes ‘the media’. I’ve been to MEAA events (& aligned orgs, such as Women in Media) where PR/corporate comms was described as ‘the enemy’ (bizarre given more women are employed in the sector than newsrooms); while the
50% of my time I dedicate to commissioned freelance writing is OK doesn’t make up 50% of my income. Even the cheapest Freelance Pro membership costs $650. The benefits are aimed squarely at freelance journalists – there is no holistic approach; I still have to take out separate professional indemnity insurance (part of the price of doing business) to cover one half of my working life.
I agree wholeheartedly with your point re: nominating for other positions & that it is a huge investment of time & energy for bugger all thanks or recognition from members; I think the fear is that non-direct election of the Fed Sec could result in a hive mind & an appointment which is simpatico to the leadership, not the membership. Term limits are a good idea.
That’s it in a nutshell. My main concern is the Alliance’s shift to covering freelancers doesn’t extend to where the industry is growing.

8 03 2014
durutticolumn

Can you tell us what those good points are? I too support democracy in the Alliance which is why I support the proposed changes as they lead to Alliance being run and controlled by members through democratically elected federal council, fed exec and Fed management committee. All are positions Charles is free to nominate for and get elected. But of course that would take commitment and time. Far easier to write a colourful carping spray from the sidelines every word of which displays an ignorance of the proposal and how the union operates. And it insults all the democratically elected officials putting in for the Alliance in their own time. These people have been reduced to faceless men by Charles. How offensive. For the record I am also in favour of dogs and cats.

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