The ramifications of an upcoming legal appeal are likely to be serious for the broadcast industry, according to a National Union of Journalists (NUJ) representative.
Michelle Stainstreet, general secretary of the union, claimed broadcasters have been hounded for their footage of the Dale Farm eviction from 2011 and are set to appeal a Crown Court order to give police their recorded material, reported Broadcast.
One appeal was already rejected in early February; but now NUJ, BBC, ITN, BSkyB and Hardcash Productions have submitted a new application that may have a real effect on the industry for professionals in broadcast jobs.
She said: “The appeal launched by the NUJ will have significant implications for the whole industry and we are challenging this decision because the union’s code of conduct compels the union – and our members – to defend a vital principle, the protection of journalistic sources and material.”
The Press Gazette reported that ITN chief executive John Hardie has backed the appeal because he is “alarmed” at the frequency of requests by the police to see journalist records.
In his opinion, this procedure is changing from being a rare exception to the “norm” and actually jeopardises the safety of journalists, who could be seen to be gathering evidence for the police.