Concerns from some staff as CCTV cameras installed in Plymouth Herald newsroom

Some staff at the Plymouth Herald are concerned about the recent introduction of CCTV cameras in the newsroom.

Trinity Mirror, which acquired Plymouth Herald in its takeover of Local World Media in 2015, said that the cameras have been installed for the “safety and security” of staff.

It is understood that four cameras have been installed in total. One faces the main entrance to the office (there is no CCTV camera in the main reception area itself) and another faces the rear exit. The other two are placed at the reporters’ end of the office, in two corners.

A source told Press Gazette there had been no communication about the installation of the cameras.

They said: “Staff are understandably concerned who will be looking over our shoulders as we work. If this is meant to be for our security then why haven’t they installed them in the reception, the area where we usually first encounter members of the public?”

“One (of the cameras) sits right over the sports reporters desk, looking out over the rest of the reporting staff while the other in the other corner covers the remaining subs, features staff and news editors…”

A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We have an obligation to ensure the safety and security of our staff.

“Security measures are being installed at entry and exit points. This is to monitor and control access in and out of our sites. Only Trinity Mirror’s security team have access to camera footage and other access information.

“The installation is a roll-out of existing measures we already employ across the group.”

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4 thoughts on “Concerns from some staff as CCTV cameras installed in Plymouth Herald newsroom”

  1. Although I agree with Ponsford that the “golden rule” for journalism ethics should not be violated, I would disagree with his statement that journalists must at all times “treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself.” While yes, I believe this is a thoughtful way to live out your personal life, I do believe that journalists have a duty to uphold which sometimes conflicts with this self-reassuring mantra. Additionally, Ponsford is a British journalist. The journalism industry in Great Britain operates differently than the journalism industry in the United States. With the protection of the First Amendment in the United States, as evidenced by other cases in the past, Buzzfeed is able to avoid defamation charges and is right to publish since the company was not responsible for fabricating any of the stated material in the dossier. Had Ponsford took into consideration previous examples from American history and compared those instances with Buzzfeed’s actions, he would have sculpted a better argument for his article.
    Journalists are responsible for educating populations and publishing information that informs the general public about the world around us. According to the Society of Professional Journalists, “…public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends…”. Additionally, journalists must report the truth and often times this truth may conflict with another party’s personal interests. This is a conflict journalists must constantly face. In the publication of dossier, Buzzfeed was upholding its duty to inform the general public that the allegations exist and were circulating the journalistic community.
    Additionally, Buzzfeed is protected by The First Amendment which protects its right to free speech and open dialogue in the United States. According to U.S. law, defamation charges in the United States can only be carried out if the source of publication was aware that false statements exist in the article or item being published. Since Buzzfeed made aware that it was unsure of the validity of the allegations, it was letting its audience members know that it was not responsible for the statements made and was leaving the validity of the statements up for interpretation.
    In 1971, the United States saw the publishing of the Pentagon Papers which is similar to the release of the Buzzfeed dossier. In the final ruling of New York Times Vs. United States the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the publication although there were concerns about defamation and national security. In his article, Ponsford fails to bring up any similar cases from America’s past in order to further explain why Buzzfeed was wrong in its publication. Possibly, this is due to the fact that U.S. Supreme Court has rarely not ruled in favor of the First Amendment.
    According to the political magazine Mother Jones, “put all that together—president, credibility among the intelligence community, and widespread dissemination—and I’m not at all sure that BuzzFeed did the wrong thing.” Buzzfeed was merely publishing information that pertained to Trump, a prominent and currently “controversial” official, that I don’t personally believe should be punished for.

    I am not praising Buzzfeed’s particular actions in publishing the dossier, I just believe they it should not be punished for its actions or criticized for taking any action at all. Collectively, I can see why Ponsford may have disagreed with the overall publication of the dossier since the intentions of the publication were not clearly stated and the quickness of the publication may have come off as an attack. On the other hand though I do not think that Buzzfeed was at fault for its publication since it was merely releasing information to the general public. If Ponsford was more aware of U.S. law and provided additional examples from the past I believe his argument would have been more successful.

  2. That’s well wierd, that Annne seems to know a lot and I got a mate who works for TM and he says there’s no one at all called Anne in that office, it couldnt possibly be a truth jet from on high masquerading as a punter could it now tut tut

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