Boston archive move attacked
23 January 2013
The NUJ in ireland has reiteated the union's strong support for NUJ member Anthony McIntyre and former Sunday Tribune journalist Ed Moloney. The National Executive Council had previously condemned the action of the PSNI in seeking the handing over of transcripts and tapes which had been the subject of a confidentiality agreement.
At the January meeting of the Irish Executive Council (IEC), support for the principle of confidentiality was re-affirmed following a lengthy discussion on a motion proposed by Omagh-based freelance journalist Anton McCabe.
The following motion was adopted:
"This IEC condemns efforts by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to gain access to material gathered by NUJ member Anthony McIntyre and deposited in an archive at Boston College, Massachusetts. This attack on the confidentiality of academic sources and recordings is to be seen in the context of past demands from the PSNI that journalists hand over the results of investigation which journalists and sources are entitled to regard as confidential.
"Demands for unbroadcast footage of an Easter commemoration event in Derry in April 2011 and rioting in east Belfast in August 2011 are examples of the same disregard for journalist ethics. The logic of these demands is that police forces are entitled to see journalistic work, whether for print or electronic media, as potentially part of a police evidence-gathering process.
"The IEC calls on the PSNI to desist from such attempts to undermine and compromise journalism; on news media to resist such attempts by the PSNI or other police forces; and on members of the NUJ to show solidarity with Anthony McIntyre in his efforts to protect the confidentiality of the material held at Boston College."