Journalist will not have to reveal Gaul story source

Demands for online journalist Graham Smith to reveal the source of a story to the Gaul inquiry have been dropped.

Smith, who runs Leeds-based, had been asked by the solicitor to attend the inquiry to name a retired chief petty officer he had interviewed about the sinking of the trawler Gaul (Press Gazette, 14 May).

But now his lawyers have been told the demand has been dropped and he will not face legal action for failing to comply with a summons to produce his documents, recordings and notes.

In an interview with Smith, the petty officer said he had overheard a conversation in which it was alleged the Gaul was sunk by being dragged down by a submarine off Norway in 1974 with the loss of all 36 crew.

Smith was supported by the NUJ. A union spokesman said: “At a time when protection of confidential sources is up in the air at the Daily Mirror and the BBC, a journalist who has taken a straightforward stand to protect his sources has been vindicated.

The profession can continue to hold its head up high no matter what else is going on in the business.”

Smith told Press Gazette: “I am grateful for the support of the NUJ. The principle of not naming a source has been upheld.”

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