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NUJ condemns News International for allowing police access to staff emails


By Stephen Lepitak, -

February 14, 2012 | 3 min read

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has criticised the decision by News International to make available its staff emails as ‘a betrayal’ of their employees.

The NUJ claimed that by allowing police access to their emails, press freedom has also been ‘severely undermined’, leading to dawn raids on News International journalists by police.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Journalists are reeling after seeing five more of their colleagues thrown to the wolves. There is a real sense of a witch-hunt being carried out right now. Journalists at the title are furious at what they see as a monumental betrayal on the part of News International. As my evidence to the Leveson Inquiry showed, journalists are often bullied by management to get stories at any cost. Now they are finding they are being shopped by the management that gave them their orders. The reputation of these journalists – and let’s remember they have not been convicted of anything – will inevitably be damaged.

“The NUJ believes that newspapers should co-operate with the police where there is evidence of illegal activity, but making this material available without consultation with the journalists involved is unacceptable. We are receiving calls from whistle-blowers who had been assured that they would be protected, and who now fear for their jobs and worse. Journalists at the Sun -- who are offered no protection from a union independent from the News International management, which is now sacrificing them to appease American shareholders -- are welcome to join the NUJ.”

Nine journalists from The Sun were arrested over the weekend in connection with investigations into journalist practices at the newspaper, which the Metropolitan Police has since defended.

At the time of writing, The Drum was awaiting a response from News International.


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