The BBC should not collaborate in police surveillance of protest
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The Metropolitan police have made contact with BBC journalists to request unbroadcast footage of the anti-cuts protests in central London on March 26th.
As Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists, has warned this is nothing more than a “fishing trip” by the Met which could have very serious consequences for the integrity and safety of all journalists covering future protests. If the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, genuinely aspires to impartial coverage of these events it is imperative that it does not pressure its journalists into the role of police intelligence gatherers and proxies.
BBC Management should now issue a public statement mounting a strong defence of the confidentiality of its journalists’ material and sources and assure the public that it will not collaborate with police surveillance in this way.