Investigative journalism must be protected, says NUJ
13 December 2019
The NUJ has joined the Guardian and press freedom organisations in welcoming the judge’s preliminary ruling on the case between business man Arron Banks and journalist Carole Cadwalladr.
Arron Banks, who funded the pro-Brexit Leave.EU campaign group, had brought a defamation action against Cadwalladr, an investigative journalist who writes for The Observer. Her journalism includes the exposé the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. She had been investigating whether Banks had links to the Russian government.
The union calls on Banks to drop the case and is urging its members and branches to donate to Carole Cadwalladr’s investigative reporting crowd funder to support her work on “data, disinformation and democracy”.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“Investigative reporters such as Carole should not be bullied by wealthy people who can afford to use the law to try to silence them and their journalism. Her work has already exposed how vulnerable our democracy is to subversion and interference. The targeting of a freelance journalist rather than media outlets who have made similar reports, makes this seem a particularly personalised endeavour and represents a broader attack on freedom of expression and public interest journalism that cannot be allowed to stand.”