Jamie Bryson 'no journalist and not member of branch': Belfast NUJ
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Belfast and District Branch has said loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson is not one of its members and is not a journalist.
A row erupted after Mr Bryson joined the NUJ with some journalists saying the union is there to protect the rights and livelihoods of working journalists only.
Others, however, have welcomed his membership saying it reflects the diverse nature of the media.
On Wednesday, as means of a clarification, the Belfast branch of the union said Mr Bryson was not a member of it.
Clarification: Mr Jamie Bryson, who is not a journalist, is not and has never been a member of Belfast & District Branch of the NUJ.— NUJ _Belfast (@NUJBelfast) August 3, 2016
Responding on his blog, Mr Bryson said he has paid membership fees to the union since his joining, but never said he was a member of the Belfast branch.
There are currently two branches in Northern Ireland, in Belfast and in Derry.
"This choice of branch, I was informed, was a matter of choice for myself," he said.
Mr Bryson also said that he believed that the union's membership definition of a journalist was "too broad".
"I have been contacted by a number of journalists who have stated they would happily propose me for branch membership. Not because they agree that non-qualified journalists should be in the union, they don’t, but because they accept that as flawed as the membership criteria may be; I meet it, and therefore should not be excluded simply because some people may object to me as a personality," he said.
"I look forward to the NUJ as a body clarifying this issue. As an individual paying into a union, I believe I am in the union. Should the NUJ take a different approach then we are heading for the High Court."
The branch are not in receipt of Mr Bryson's application form therefore we cannot finish the process under rule.(@NUJBelfast) 3 August 2016
All aspiring members have to go through following procedure before becoming an 'elected member' - sub section (ii) pic.twitter.com/iBCCTJE98t(@NUJBelfast) 3 August 2016