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Concern over interference in Independent Newspapers editorial

27 June 2011

The NUJ has expressed concern over attempts at interference in the editorial process at Independent Newspapers (INM) in Dublin by former director Leslie Buckley, a Communicorp nominee to the board.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary, said the recent confirmation by INM chief operations director Gavin O'Reilly that Leslie Buckley had sought to influence the manner in which journalist Sam Smyth carried out his work was of grave concern.

In a front page editorial in the on-line edition of The Irish Journalist, Séamus Dooley again calls for the establishment of a Media Commission to examine all aspects of media ownership and control in Ireland.

He also called on NUJ members to:

"…live up to the union's proud tradition of defending editorial independence and genuine journalism, free of commercial bias or rooted in private agendas."

He added that the NUJ has refrained in the past from commenting on the dispute between the O'Reilly and O'Brien camps within INM. However, he said, the recent revelations concerning Leslie Buckley's bid to shape the coverage of the Moriarty Tribunal demanded a response from the union.

Tags: , newspapers, independent news and media, communicorp, editorial independence, press freedom