ITN and other broadcasters appeal decision for disclosure of Dale Farm eviction footage


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 29, 2012 | 2 min read

ITN and other broadcasters, as well as the National Union of journalists, have today made an appeal against the decision of Chelmsford Crown Court to order disclosure to the police of footage filmed at the Dale Farm evictions.

The BBC, ITN and Sky were told to hand over their footage on 8 February.

John Hardie, chief executive officer at ITN: “We are very concerned about the seemingly automatic assumption from the police that they can demand access to unbroadcast editorial material as a matter of course. Rather than being a rare exception where requests are made for otherwise unobtainable evidence of serious wrongdoing, the wide-ranging Dale Farm production order is in danger of becoming the norm and we are alarmed at the frequency and nature of these requests.

“We are appealing the court’s ruling on the Dale Farm order and resisting a separate attempt from police to obtain footage relating to a demonstration outside the Syrian embassy as we feel it is a fundamental right for our journalists to operate without the fear that their material will habitually be obtained by the police. This issue strikes at the heart of the independence of news organisations to operate freely and jeopardises the safety of our journalists who may be seen as evidence gathers for law enforcement.”


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