Journalists barred from security conference unless they agree to give organisers pre-publication sight of reports

The organisers of a security and defence conference have told journalists they may not attend unless they agree to submit reports of the event to them before publication.

In order to attend Cyber Defence and Network Security 2016, run from tomorrow until the end of the week, journalists must sign terms and conditions set out by the organiser, the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC).

Included in the terms, seen by Press Gazette, is: "Please provide a copy of the article to IQPC before publishing and offer the right of reply to all speakers and companies referred to in your articles before the article goes into publication."

The condition prompted a Bloomberg journalist, Kit Chellel, to say he would not be attending the event.

He said on Twitter this morning: "The people behind this cyber security conf http://www.cdans.org/  tell me I can't attend unless I show them stories before publication.

"That's right, DefenceIQ want to approve stories before they are published. They say other journalists have agreed to this. Love to know who."

He added: "I said I wouldn't attend this or any other event… What concerns me is that they say others have agreed to this nonsense."

But the organiser told Press Gazette: "Given that our events are largely extremely niche B2B style events with only trade press in attendance, we haven’t had any issues previously."

John Geenty, managing director of IQPC, told Press Gazette the policy is in place to "ensure that our speakers and delegate participants aren’t incorrectly quoted or reported on following our events".

He said: "In several instances over the last few years we have asked for the reporting of certain sessions to be press exempt at the request of the speaker, or run under the Chatham House Rule, so that we can give access to journalists to the wider event and bring their contributions to our events.

"Unfortunately we had events, where despite being run under the Rule, or requests made, direct quotes were given for people who were very much off the record or who had requested for no press reporting at all.

"When this happens our speaker faculty loses faith in us as event organizers and refuses to participate in the future.

"The element of our T&Cs you refer to is to try and ensure that this doesn’t happen again."

Geenty added: "I apologise for any offense Mr Chellel feels due to this policy, but my first responsibility has to be to our attendees and our speakers so that they can feel secure in the exchange of ideas and concepts."

Picture: Shutterstock

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