Posts Tagged ‘Press Freedom’

April Branch Meeting: The Safety of Journalists

25th April, 2014

Daheih, South Beirut, Lebanon. After a night of bombing by Israe

The discussion at this month’s branch meeting will be about the intensifying violence against journalists who report on events around the world. The guest speaker is Jim Boumelha, President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which represents around 600,000 members in more than 134 countries.

Over the past 12 years more than 1,100 journalists and media staff have been killed in the line of duty, because someone did not like what they wrote or said, or because they were in the wrong place in the wrong time. The IFJ monitors press freedom violations and campaigns for greater safety and for a focus on the in-country journalists and freelances, who are at greatest risk and who have the least protection. It has also launched a global campaign to end violence against women journalists.

6.00pm Tuesday 29 April, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP

NUJ Surveillance & Blacklisting Campaign

27th March, 2014

As part of the campaign against blacklisting and surveillance the NUJ is asking for more members to submit subject access requests to find out what data the police have stored on journalists.

If you feel that in the course of your work you might have come under police scrutiny, or you have found yourself in front of a police camera lens, noticed an intelligence officer seeming to take interest in you, writing in their note books, or otherwise recording observations, it may be worth taking 30 minutes to fill in this form and send it off to help the NUJ expose and stop the monitoring of journalists.

More info here.

Jason Parkinson

Branch condemns security guard stop of photographer – AGAIN!

16th December, 2013

Last Tuesday, branch member Grant Smith was stopped by security guards outside City Hall while taking a photograph of a friend entering the building to deliver a report on city cycling to the Greater London Authority (GLA). Once again, out came the familiar refrain: “You need permission to take photographs. This is private property”.

The building, and the development around it, is owned by the Kuwaiti government which, in one of the largest UK property deals ever, has just paid £1.7 billion for it. But the riverside walk outside is clearly part of the capital’s public realm. Not only is it the public point of access to the Mayor and the GLA’s HQ, it is also part of the Thames Path National Trail, managed jointly by Natural England, the Environment Agency and Tourism South East. And yet none of these institutions appears able to prevent the powers that be in Kuwait City from determining what the citizens of London can or can’t do in the public areas of their own city.

Only a week before, the Southbank Centre apologised publicly after temporary security guards attempted to prevent photographer Marc Vallée from taking pictures in the open space around the undercroft skateboarding area. News clearly travels slowly down the river, but this has happened outside City Hall before, and it is high time that the GLA and Mayor Johnson took control of their own doorstep. If they can’t even manage that, what are they good for?

The London Photographers Branch demands that the Mayor and the GLA put an immediate stop to this interference with the right of both journalists and the general public to report and photograph freely in the public realm around the seat of London government.


Victory by Twitter!

4th December, 2013

Following our report earlier today, the Southbank Centre has tweeted:

“Visitors are welcome to take photos on site. Our temp security guards did not understand this. Apologies for any inconvenience”

The centre’s quick response is very welcome, and a sign that all the campaigning for the freedom to photograph in public spaces has made an impact, albeit one that needs reinforcing from time to time.

NUJ Fights to Protect Journalistic Sources

11th February, 2013


Greater Manchester Police have applied for a production order with a hearing on Monday 18 February compelling NUJ member and video journalist Jason N. Parkinson to hand over footage to the police.

The application is for all published and unpublished footage shot between the hours of 10.30am and 12.30pm at the English Defence League (EDL) march and counter protest organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Bolton on Saturday 20 March 2010.

Mr Parkinson with the full support of the NUJ intends to oppose the production order.

Jason Parkinson said: “I am not willing to hand unpublished material over. Journalists report the news and are not evidence gatherers for the police or anyone else. To do so would endanger the safety of all journalists in similar situations in the future. We would not be regarded as independent and would become greater targets from all sides.

“Also handing over the footage could overturn the incredibly important victory for press freedom we achieved fighting the Dale Farm production order last year.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Jason Parkinson is a front line journalist and should have the right to work in the public interest without fearing he will be forced to hand over his footage. The union will continue to support Jason’s campaign to protect journalistic sources and material.”

Jason was served a production order in 2011 for all footage shot over the two days of the Dale Farm eviction in Essex. Major national broadcasters also opposed the production order. In a united effort, the NUJ led an eight-month battle in partnership with the BBC, ITN, Sky and Hardcash Productions that ended in the Royal Courts of Justice. In May 2012 Judge Moses overturned the original Dale Farm production order in a huge win for press freedom in the UK.

Related Material

Dale Farm Production Order Overturned

NUJ and Broadcasters Granted Judicial Review

Why I’m Resisting the Dale Farm Production Order

Solidarity to Northern Ireland Broadcasters Fighting Production Order

3rd November, 2012

The following motion was passed unanimously by the London Photographers’ Branch on Tuesday 30 October 2012.

“The London Photographers’ Branch (LPB) wishes to send a message of solidarity to broadcasters in Northern Ireland who are fighting a court order seeking all footage over violent clashes in North Belfast this summer.

The BBC, Ulster TV, Sky News and the Press Association have joined forces in resisting the application that seeks all unbroadcast material and photographs taken during the 12 July disorder in the Ardoyne area. Read the rest of this entry »

Topshop Legal Report

26th October, 2012

Topshop security guard. UK Uncut – Big Society Revenue and Customs, campaign for companies to pay tax. Oxford St, London © Jess Hurd/

This is a report from Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer who attended a meeting with Topshop’s Operations manager following an apology for an assault and ban of London Photographer’ Branch Chair Jess Hurd.

“Jess Hurd was manhandled, assaulted and detained when covering a protest at Topshop in Oxford Street. Jess rightly wanted an apology for the distress she suffered and withdrawal of a ban from her entering the store. She did not want legal action or damages for what had happened, preferring to use her time on her work and union commitments. Read the rest of this entry »

LPB Production Order DM Motion

8th October, 2012

The following motion was passed unanimously at the 2012 NUJ Delegate Meeting in Newcastle.

This DM notes with alarm the increase use of Production Orders by police to seize photographs, footage and audio recordings made by professional journalists at public order events such as the student protests, the 2011 summer riots and the Dale Farm eviction. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Facts – In Defence of Photography

28th September, 2012

Download In Defence of Photography pdf here

August Meeting: Digital Data Security

21st August, 2012

6pm, 28th August 2012, NUJ, 308 Gray’s Inn Road

Technology and widespread Internet access encourage instant freedom of communication and organisation on a level previously thought impossible. We’ve seen the impact of these new ways of organising across the Middle East last year and in many situations closer to home. But there’s a sinister, dangerous side to these technologies where companies and governments can access, use and block data to censor, spy on, follow or hurt those trying to distribute it.

We’ve seen the state simply turning off communications in Egypt, the Syrian military targeting and killing journalist Marie Colvin and her colleagues after locating them through their data transmissions, and journalists having data cards, tapes and computer equipment taken or destroyed in many other countries. This meeting will cover two aspects of data security; the technological side of encryption, backup, secure transmission & ensuring data file integrity as well as the legal side of the laws relating to the state accessing and retaining your information, police surveillance and monitoring activities, your Data Protection obligations and protection from seizure of journalistic material as evidence.

Speaking will be Anna Mazzola & Athalie Matthews from Bindmans LLP as well as a Q&A on technology with photographers Edward Hirst & Jules Mattsson.

Please do RSVP on facebook here and invite interested colleagues, our panel meetings are open to all.