NUJ seeks to challenge News Corp on protection of sources
16 February 2012
Two eminent QCs, Geoffrey Robertson and John Hendy, are working with the NUJ on a range of legal measures to challenge the actions of News Corp's Management and Standards Committee, which has handed over journalists' material to the police.
In a posting on Neville Thurlbeck's blog, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"They are working with me on a range of legal measures to challenge the actions of the MSC and to provide help and support to members at News International before more members are thrown to the wolves. I will need journalists willing to be part of this legal challenge.
"My message to all journalists at News International is clear – it's time for action. If you want protection that's independent, that puts journalists and journalism first – you need to join the NUJ now. If you want a collective independent voice sticking up for your rights at work, a union that puts journalistic ethics first and doesn't pay mere lip-service to the fundamental principle of protecting your sources, you need to join the NUJ now.
"I've taken calls from many whistleblowers and sources in recent days who are frankly terrified that they will be arrested or sacked any day now. They cannot believe that the confidentiality they were promised has been breached."
Neville Thurlbeck, former chief reporter of the News of the World, is urging colleagues at News International to join the NUJ. He wrote:
"Michelle Stanistreet's bold aim is to depose the well-meaning, but ineffective, News International Staff Association and replace with independent NUJ trade union muscle. To achieve that she will need numbers… and she will undoubtedly get them if the volume of emails I am receiving from staff are anything to go by."