NUJ seeks anonymity for journalists giving evidence to Leveson enquiry
The National Union of Journalists has urged its members to offer evidence to the Leveson inquiry into media ethics in secret.
According to a piece in the NUJ’s membership magazine, The Journalist, having won the right to be named as a Core Participant in the hearings, the union is now attempting to identify journalists who wish to make a contribution, and ensure that they be allowed to do so anonymously.
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, wrote within The Journalist; “We’ve now got an opportunity to put the concerns, experiences and insights of ordinary working journalists at the heart of an inquiry that could shape the future of our industry - vital given the huge resources newspaper bosses are ploughing into the inquiry.”
Stanistreet continued; “We want to show how a culture within a workplace is led from the top; how bullying and pressure from editors, coupled with staff shortages and dwindling resources puts journalists under huge pressure to deliver - a context where shortcuts become inevitable.”
She went on to explain that the Union has long campaigned for a ‘Conscience Clause’ to be inserted into contracts to allow journalists to stand up for ethical principles and be protected against being dismissed, allowing them security to ‘stick their head above the parapit’, ensure that the wider media landscape is also considered.
“The economic model within our industry is one of ever-growing consolidation, particularly in the local and regional press. It has failed spectacularly.” added Stanistreet.