NUJ victory on Dale Farm production order
17 May 2012
The NUJ and other media organisations have won the judicial review at the Court of Appeal against the decision by Chelmsford Crown Court to grant the Dale Farm footage production order. The decision to force journalists to hand over unbroadcast footage has been overturned.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:
"Today is a huge victory for the cause of press freedom and the protection of sources and journalistic material. We are incredibly pleased that the NUJ and other media organisations have won the High Court battle against the police production order to force journalists to hand over their Dale Farm eviction footage."
Jason Parkinson, the NUJ member who took the case to the Court of Appeal, said:
"This ruling to overturn the Crown Court's decision to grant the Dale Farm production order sends a very clear message to all police forces that these wide-ranging fishing trips will not be accepted by the UK courts and that we will not be forced into to role of unwilling agents of the state.
"We are not there as evidence gatherers to fill police intelligence databases with hours of material on activists or protesters, we are journalists and we are there to report the news and keep the public informed.
"In the last 18 months, every time one of these orders have been served it has put journalists in greater danger while trying to report on public order situations. I know this because I have been threatened and assaulted by people claiming my material will be used by the police.
"I am very happy to see Judge Moses has recognised the impact these orders have had on the safety and impartiality of all journalists and has made sure any future production order applications must take this into account, as was clearly not the case this time round."