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The Internet has created the new sweatshops for journalists said Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists in an interview published on today (29 September).

In the interview, Dear, who heads Europe’s largest journalists union with 35,000 members also discusses cheque book journalism, embedded journalists, salaries, training and the NUJ’s international links, including the Newspaper Guild in the US.

He said that the internet had created new opportunities in journalism but the problem still remained that no-one knew how to make it pay.

“It has opened the door for new players and new voices, and helped create hundreds of jobs. However, all too many of these are poorly paid, lack any kind of security, with many new media journalists are working excessively long hours. In many cases they are the new sweatshops. But at its best the internet should be creating innovative, cutting edge journalism. It still has to remember the cardinal rules of accuracy and professionalism, but it is a media whose time is yet to come.”

He disclosed that the union was in the process of establishing a dedicated new media section to mirror its newspapers, broadcasting, magazines and other sectors. “This is a reflection of its growing importance, and the growth in the number of new media journalists joining the NUJ.

“For all its innovation and sometimes glamorous image, we see some of the worst problems of low pay, long hours and health and safety problems in new media companies. New media, same exploitation!”


Note to Editors
A full version of the Jeremy Dear interview is available at

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