Tag Archives: journalism

Liberal Democrats ensure government gives added protection for journalists’ records

Police will need to get a judge to give them permission before they access journalists’ phone records, according to the BBC.

A temporary measure means officers must follow the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and get legal permission to obtain any communications data.

The move comes after strong criticism of the way police were using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to access journalists’ sources.

The Home Office said it was an “interim solution” ahead of the next parliament.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

LibLink: Julian Huppert: Journalists must be able to protect their sources

Julian Huppert MPJulian Huppert has tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill enabling journalists to better protect their sources. He wrote about why this was necessary in the Guardian – apparently over 600 applications have been made to access journalists’ phone records in the last three years. That’s about four a week. As Julian puts it:

How will anyone be brave enough to contact a journalist in the public interest, if they know that they can easily be tracked down?

What’s more, these actions have clearly discouraged whistleblowers from coming forward, having a chilling effect on free speech.

Current procedures do not give adequate protection to journalists:

At the moment the police quite rightly need the approval of a judge before they can take documents from a journalist. But they authorise themselves to access the journalist’s mobile phone records and other communications data. This cannot be right.

As a matter of principle, police and security services should not be able to authorise themselves to snoop on journalists to get to their sources. It may be convenient for the police but it’s not right for freedom of the press and it’s not right for the whistleblowers who badly need protection.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Protecting journalists and foreign correspondents – it’s about time

What is currently happening in Egypt in my view is a very sad and violent transformation. Yet as a native of this country, I believe this to be an internal process and should be shaped only by Egyptians living in Egypt.

However, what should not be accepted as an internal matter is the level of intimidation and violence against journalists and foreign correspondents, particularly foreign journalists and those working for foreign media organisations.

They are unwittingly being sucked into a political turmoil they do not control. They are seasoned professionals caught in the line of fire while doing their …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Duff arguments to ignore over Leveson

Here is a safe prediction: whatever the Leveson report recommends for British journalism, there will be an awful lot of duff arguments rolled out. Despite much of the debate being couched in how important it is for the press to tell the truth and how many difficult judgements there are to make, we’ll hear plenty of simplistic rhetoric based on shonky factual foundations.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: The Sun has clearly boobed on this issue of free speech

I’m frankly disgusted that The Sun has decreed that I have a right to see Prince Harry’s penis, but not Kate Middleton’s nipples. I fail to understand how my being unable to see Prince Harry naked is somehow a disgusting breach of the freedom of speech of the UK press but my being unable to see Kate Middleton naked is completely correct because this is a hideous invasion of her privacy.

Let us briefly review. Prince Harry was happily naked in a hotel room where he had a reasonable expectation of privacy, someone took photos of him from a short distance …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

Have I gone mad?

I’m wondering if I’ve gone mad.

There’s this issue that I just can’t think about without one question occurring to me. For me, it is blindingly obvious, absolutely basic and impossible to avoid if you want to talk about the issue.

And the thing is, it doesn’t appear to have occurred to anyone else.

I’ve read plenty of media stories about the issue, and I’ve not found one that asks, answers or even obliquely mentions this blindingly obvious question.

The problem gets worse than that, however.

I’ve waded through lots of public comments on the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 50 Comments

Today’s news is: Let’s all be shocked by the blatantly obvious

Story one.

Dear politician, do you think people should knowingly assist others in breaking the law? What, you say ‘no they shouldn’t’? Hold the front page, I’ve got a scoop!

Story two.

Dear politician, might you want to lead your party one day? What, you might!? Hold the front page again. This is an amazing scoop discovering a politician who would fancy leading their party.

Story three.

Dear politician, if there is another hung Parliament, would you take the same approach as you did to the last one? What, you would? OMG! Someone saying they would do the same thing again! Unthinkable! …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments
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