As reported in Press Gazette, the NUJ’s General Secretary, Jeremy Dear, used his appearance on Monday at the the TUC Congress Conference 2008 to call for a motion against the erosion of journalists’ civil liberties and media freedom in Britain.
In a follow-up, the NUJ yesterday released this video, ‘Press Freedom: Collateral Damage’ by Jason N Parkinson : nine minutes of film documenting the treatment of journalists by police.
The film highlights a number of incidents in which the NUJ feel the police unnecessarily obstructed reporters and photographers.
The NUJ motion identified the cases of Robin Ackroyd and Shiv Malik, who have both risked jail because of the legal requirement to reveal confidential information from sources. In his speech to the Congress, Dear also referred to Sally Murrer, a journalist who is facing criminal prosecution for receiving information from a police source.
“Journalism is facing grave threats in an age of intolerance,” Jeremy Dear said in the NUJ’s statement. “Whilst on the streets dissent is being criminalized, independent journalism is being increasingly caught in the civil liberties clampdown,” he said.
Members of the TUC conference unanimously backed the NUJ’s motion on Monday. The NUJ statement, with more excerpts from Dear’s speech, can be read here.