Dacre's press card proposal denounced as 'ridiculous'
11 February 2012
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, has described a proposal by Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, for the introduction of an industry press card as "ridiculous". Under the proposal, the card would act as an accreditation system for journalists.
"It simply wouldn't work in practice. I don't understand the premise behind it. This would lead to the licensing of journalists through the back door and undermine press freedom.
"This is yet another example of how an editor – a very high-profile influential member of the industry – is trying to pin the blame on individual journalists. It does absolutely nothing to move us forward from where we are today and it doesn't tackle at all the issues about the culture practices and ethics of the press. It takes no account of the fact that journalists work in a culture that is imposed on them – by editors such as Mr Dacre.
"The NUJ already issues press cards; our members sign up to a code of conduct and those who flout it can be barred from membership. The NUJ is a democratic organisation that gets its authority and credibility from its members. A card issued on the say-so of Mr Dacre and his cronies would be used as a tool for newspaper bosses to intimidate their staff."