NUJ: Media organisations should resist political pressure to hand over riot footage

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The NUJ has urged journalists to resist political pressure to hand over footage and images which could be used to track down rioters.

Prime minister David Cameron yesterday urged broadcasters to hand over unbroadcast footage to police to help them track down law-breakers during riots that spread this week across England.

But the BBC, ITN and Sky News are all understood to be resisting such a move. Press Gazette understands that they all plan to go through their normal procedure, which will require police to go through a legal process to seek access to journalistic material.

The NUJ said: “Covering protests, both nationally and internationally, is already difficult and often dangerous for journalists. The danger increases if the images and video gathered whilst reporting events is used by the state. With many accounts of injuries and equipment damage already reported, the calls from politicians to hand-over press material will only increases the risks. “

The union said it wants all media organisations to make strong representations to the court to protect the confidentiality of journalistic material.

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