The quality is not strained

MANNERS maketh the commissioning editor. That was the view of the members of the Quality Street email network when they met at Headland House, the NUJ headquarters, on 6 December.

To prove their point, they approved a guide to commissioning practice drawn from the various postings to the network over the past year.

More than a dozen attended, and agreed that the guide should be sent out to commissioning editors on the so-called "quality" newspapers in the Spring, accompanied by an appropriate greetings card. The network members will be asked to compile a mailing list.

An award for the best commissioning editor of the year was also discussed, in the hope of encouraging good practice.

The meeting was chaired by Tim Dawson (of the union's National Exectutive and Freelance Industrial Council) who explained that over the years he has spent more than £1 million commissioning freelances, but has never been given guidance on standards or how to seek and develop freelances.

This prompted Phil Sutcliffe (also of the NEC and FIC) to suggest a training course for commissioning editors - an idea greeted with enthusiasm. The NUJ's Training Department has already been approached about developing just such a course.

The Code of Practice is nearly ready and will appear here soon.
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