Newsquest under fire for BNP ads
19 May 2009
Newsquest management is under fire for accepting advertising from a far-right political party. In recent days, a number of Newsquest websites have carried adverts for the British National Party (BNP).
The NUJ said that it is deeply concerned that the decision to accept money from a far right organisation will seriously damage the reputation of the company's titles and its journalists.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:
"Newsquest should be ashamed of itself for taking money from an organisation that advocates racist policies that would directly discriminate against the communities these websites serve.
"This disgraceful decision not only damages the reputation of the company's online and print titles. Journalists will also find their ability to win the trust and confidence of their communities undermined by this decision.
"It seems incredible that managers would even consider taking advertising from the BNP. Many journalists who have investigated the party in the past have since found themselves on far-right hate websites that try to intimidate journalists to stop them from taking up investigations.
"NUJ chapels should raise objections with management if BNP adverts appear in the papers, or on their websites.
"Journalists covering the elections should also remind themselves of the NUJ's guidelines on reporting racist organisations that are available on the union's website."
Bob Smith,chair of the NUJ's Newsquest group chapel, which brings together NUJ reps from across the company, said:
"Accepting the tainted cash of the British National Party shows unbelievably bad judgement on the part of Newsquest's management.
"The BNP is not like other political parties. It only allows 'indigenous caucasian' people to join its misguided membership. Accepting advertising from this organisation shows bad faith with readers of Newsquest websites, which report on some of the most ethnically diverse areas in Britain.
"One has to ask, too, what message Newsquest's many minority ethnic employees get from their company's acceptance of this party's money.
"Paul Davidson should accept that his greedy management has made a massive blunder in taking the BNP shilling, apologise and make sure it never happens again."