The National Union of Journalism (NUJ) has written to the Telegraph criticising it for its lack of editorial guidelines in the midst of the HSBC scandal.
Following reporter Peter Oborne’s resignation, sparked by the Barclay brothers’ alleged suppression of HSBC tax avoidance coverage, the publication issued an unapologetic statement claiming it will draw up guidelines to more clearly define the operations of its editorial and sales teams.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “It’s pretty shocking that these [guidelines] don’t already exist. Any guidelines drawn up must as a minimum be done in consultation.
“The starting point should not be one of co-operation with commercial but the protection of editorial integrity and a mechanism for journalists to speak out if they are under pressure.”
Davison concluded: “This should include the insertion of a conscience clause in their contracts. Journalists need to be protected and enabled to do the job they came into the industry to do without fear or favour, regardless of ownership”
The criticism comes after the NUJ issued Telegraph staff with a workplace survey enabling staff to anonymously air their working condition grievances.