Court Order Turns Journalists into Police Evidence Gatherers

While I get really annoyed with photojournalists  –  especially during the G20 in London where they were actually obstructing the action they were supposed to be recording – I am by no means at the extreme end of the activist-anti-media position. Even those  working through the corporate media sometimes do a good job, especially when their editors are on holiday, or on the golf course.

From the Dale Farm Supporters website:

There has been strong condemnation by supporters of Dale Farm residents of a ruling to force Sky, ITN, BBC and other freelance journalists to hand over their footage of the Dale Farm eviction. The journalists had argued in court that it put them in the position of evidence gatherers for the state.

Ali Saunders, a Dale Farm supporter, said “It is shameful that rather than confronting the brutality and racism of Basildon Council’s eviction of Dale Farm the police is criminalising protest and using the media as an extension of police “intelligence” gathering. Families are still struggling to live on the side of the road at Dale Farm- Basildon Council and the Government is proving yet again that it doesn’t care about Travellers in the UK.”

Saunders continued, “The biggest crime that happened at Dale Farm is being ignored here. Standing up to the injustice of the eviction was the right thing to do…”

For Comment:

Clearly, this judgement has implications way beyond dale farm for the already problematic relationship between those who act & those who record & report these actions. I hope that the NUJ seeks a judicial review on this matter.

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