02 July 2011
Posted in General
BBC negotiations endorsed, and a call for BAFTA to recognise the role of writers in its TV awards more fully
There was a mixture of optimism and campaigning zeal in a packed day of debate and voting at the Writers’ Guild Annual General Meeting in London on Friday 24 June 2011.
About 40 Guild members endured a summer’s day in a lecture theatre without the benefit of air-conditioning to hear reports on the union’s activities, plans and finances and to debate rule changes and policy statements.
Among the key decisions were:
- Endorsing negotiations nearing completion with the BBC to set up Writers Digital Payments, which will reward writers for the use of their programmes on the iPlayer in proportion to the number of hits by viewers
- Adoption of accounts showing subscriptions income up 13.5% to £336,742 and a healthy surplus for the past year of £20,514
- A long-term campaign for restoration of lost arts council and local authority subsidies to the arts, particularly the theatre
- A call for the unfreezing of the TV licence fee to enable the BBC to continue to make first-class British television and radio shows
- A demand that BAFTA should reinstate writers in its main TV awards ceremony, not the craft section.
The guest speaker was Guild children’s writing rep Jayne Kirkham, also a leading light of the Save Kids’ TV campaign, who has toured the country and the political conferences and set up an all-party Parliamentary group to look after the interests of our youngest viewers.
It was announced that the Guild’s officers would be unchanged for a further year – Robert Taylor as Chair, Andy Walsh and Roger Williams as Deputy Chairs, and Rupert Creed as Treasurer. Jenny Stephens was elected unopposed to take over as West Midlands rep, with her predecessor Richard Pinner moving over to cover the East Midlands.
The AGM ended with a call by general secretary Bernie Corbett for the Guild to take a stronger campaigning line on copyright issues in the digital age.