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Local World newspaper should not be mouthpiece for police

14 March 2014

The NUJ is concerned about the future of journalism at Local World, in the light of statements made by David Montgomery and what is now happening at local titles.

David Montgomery’s distorted vision is to allow police, and other public and private organisations, to post their stories directly on to local websites. This is not a brave new vision of journalism, but a means to devalue the profession and cut editorial to the bone.

The NUJ ethics council met today and issued the following statement:

The NUJ is strongly opposed to the idea of the police, or any authority or commercial organisation being able to publish directly to the local newspaper. It is the job of journalism, through local media, to hold local authorities, including the police, to account to local people. It is not its role to act as a conduit for the views and opinions of those authorities. If local authorities or the police wish to communicate directly with local people they should set up their own channels of communication.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"We know David Montgomery thinks that local journalists do a 'medium-grade craft' which could be carried out by 12-year-olds. He has a complete disregard for the vital role journalists have in their local community - holding local politicians and organisations to account. His vision is one which devalues the profession, will undermine the trust people have in their local paper and opens the doors for organisations with an agenda to directly control our local media. Readers won't stand for this and they won't pay for it either."

Tags: , local world, david montgomery, newspapers, police, ethics, quality journalism