Arts mag fails in latest attack

AN attempt has failed to have the president of the National Union of Journalists suspended.

It is the latest episode in a battle between an arts magazine and James Doherty, in his capacity as media manager for Culture and Sport Glasgow.

Variant magazine is accusing Doherty of suppressing freedom of speech, after he oversaw the removal of copies of Variant from the city’s Tramway Theatre, claiming one of its articles – about CSG – contained potentially defamatory statements.

Variant at the weekend issued a media release saying they had contacted the union’s Ethics Council, calling for Doherty to be suspended.

Said Variant: “Doherty’s actions, and the actions he has been party to with regard to Variant magazine, constitute conduct detrimental to the interests of the union, rendering him in breach of the union’s Code of Conduct on several grounds.”

But the Ethics Council says that – under NUJ rules – it is unable to consider the complaint because none of the people named in the Variant request are members of the union.

In addition, it has no powers to suspend union members, that power being vested only in the NUJ’s National Executive Council.