Media release: Journalists invited to comment on legislative reviews


THE Scottish Parliament is currently conducting two major reviews of legislation which will affect journalists.

And NUJ Scotland is seeking help to ensure that the legislation reflects the needs of working journalists and to make their voice heard.

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act – how well is it working?

The NUJ is intending to put in a submission to the post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act – the official process to review how well it is working, and what changes, if any, could be made to improve it.

To help with this, the Scottish Office of the NUJ is keen to hear from its members who have first-hand experience of making or receiving FOI requests.

What effect has the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) had on your work? Is it working as intended? Could it be improved?

For more information, contact organiser, Nick McGowan-Lowe, by email at or on 0141 251 0362, preferably as soon as possible – but at any time up to May 1.

More information about the process can be seen here:

Defamation reform

In January, the Scottish Government announced a public consultation on reforming laws around defamation in Scotland. The law was last significantly changed 23 years ago – and since then the growth of the internet and social media has radically reshaped how defamation might occur.

The NUJ wants to make sure that any reforms protect and reflect the interests and concerns of its members, and encourages members to make submissions to the process.

Does the ‘low legal bar’ for defamation currently prevent stories being written or published? Does it prevent proper scrutiny of organisations by journalists? Do unjustified threats of defamation actions stifle public debate?

The NUJ encourages all members affected by the current legislation on defamation to share their experiences with the Scottish Government. The deadline is April 5, and submissions can be made via this webpage:

Scottish PEN wishes to reform defamation law and has put together a guide for those wanting to make submissions here, together with its recommendations. It is not necessary to follow the recommended answers, and the NUJ encourages all members who feel able to make a submission to do so, to share their views.

If you make a submission, then it would be helpful if you could email with a copy of the answers you have given.

As always, the NUJ Scottish office is here for any queries about issues affecting your working life.

We can be contacted at or on 0141 251 0360.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by NUJ Scotland. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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NUJ Scotland contact details…

Contact: Nick McGowan-Lowe