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Union condemns rising far-right threats against UK media

13 February 2019

NUJ members have reported an alarming spate of recent incidents of intimidation, threats and violence carried out by far-right protesters systematically targeting the media, especially photojournalists.

The increase in threats has promoted the union to call for stronger action from the authorities to defend press freedom and tackle the perpetrators. 

Journalists should never be threatened simply for doing their jobs.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The evidence provided by NUJ members to the union highlights a disturbing increase in attacks and threats both offline and online. The NUJ unreservedly condemns all threats against media workers, this behaviour is outrageous and unacceptable and it is vital that the police do all they can to ensure journalists can do their jobs safely. The authorities need to wake up to this escalating problem and tackle it robustly."

Natasha Hirst, chair of the NUJ photographers’ council, said:

"We must do more in the UK to protect photojournalists and other reporters who risk their safety to cover public demonstrations and report the news. Our members are highlighting repeated obstructions and hostility as they try to go about doing their jobs. The police need to be alert to these challenges and respond robustly to protect photojournalists at work."

The National Union of Journalists has asked the Metropolitan Police and the National Police Chiefs Council to engage with the union and its members to discuss how policing can be improved to better protect journalists.

Tags: , far right, journalist safety, journalists attacked, journalists intimidated, journalists' rights, safety, photographers, photojournalists, police, metropolitan police, national police chiefs council