The NUJ has called for journalists who “follow their consciences rather than editorial instructions” to have legal protection.
The move follows the decision not to include a conscience clause in the Editors’ Code of Practice.
Chris Frost, from the union ethics committee, urged NUJ chapels to have clauses inserted in their house agreements protecting journalists from being disciplined for following the code.
A motion he tabled also urged NUJ members not to sign contracts including the Code of Practice unless they are also protected for sticking to it against the wishes of management.
Chris Youett, from the Birmingham and Coventry branch, said: “Most professional bodies have conscience clauses in their rules – including the legal profession.”