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NUJ condemns police commissioner's "ban" of member

19 June 2015

NUJ response to member Jeanette Oldham, of the Birmingham Mail, who has been told the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) will only answer questions from her submitted via the Freedom of Information Act:

Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser, said:

"The West Midlands Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is completely in the wrong in imposing a ban on speaking to a journalist probing sensitivities in its affairs. Jeanette Oldham is a highly respected investigative journalist and the commissioner's office would do well to assist her inquiries, not seek to obstruct them.
"This can only be counterproductive.  As a public body it has an obligation to be open and transparent in its dealings with the media for the public good. Jeanette has been given the full support of the Birmingham Mail and Post chapel."

The Birmingham Mail reported that OPCC spokesman Richard Costello said he had banned the investigations editor from asking him direct questions after she "broke protocol" by naming him in articles.

Award-winning investigative journalist 'banned' from putting questions to Birmingham crime commissioner.

Tags: , press freedom, birmingham, birmingham post and mail, police commission, chapels