Concern at Hutton website's use of journalists' mail

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Concern has been raised after two journalists not involved in the proceedings have had their private e-mails published on the Hutton Inquiry website.

E-mails from the BBC’s Nik Gowing and former Today journalist Tim Luckhurst were put on to the website along with all other evidence. Paul McLaughlin, the NUJ’s broadcasting organiser, said he anticipated being able to discuss journalists’ concerns in the run-up to the forthcoming BBC editorial review that will see a tightening-up of the newsgathering process.

“Members have voiced their concerns to me. These are that there need to be guidelines or procedures to ensure that journalists can practice without fear of prejudicing or putting confidential information out into the public domain.

“One of the things in that review we might be seeking is to establish the conditions, if any, under which internal communication would be available to the public. You’ve got to strike a balance between co-operation and putting confidential information in the public domain. Journalists have got to feel they can contribute to the organisation without fearing that details will get published on the net.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Anyone whose material is being used will be given due notice. But it is Lord Hutton’s inquiry and we have to do everything possible to assist him. Any documents he needs, we are giving them to the inquiry. It’s a Government inquiry and we are complying fully.”

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