NUJ commends Newsnight reporting

  • 27 May 2020

Union condemns BBC response to Newsnight complaints amid reports Emily Maitlis replaced.

The NUJ has condemned the BBC response to Newsnight complaints and reporting that Emily Maitlis has been replaced on tonight's programme.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"At a time of national crisis, frank and fearless journalism that scrutinises and holds this government to account is more necessary than ever. Emily Maitlis exemplifies those qualities – if she's been stood down and replaced as a result of her tenacious reporting, that is an act of shameful cowardice by our public service broadcaster.
"It is as clear as day that Dominic Cummings breached government lockdown guidelines – just because government ministers are prepared to demean themselves by asserting otherwise, to protect a seemingly untouchable Number 10 advisor, does not make it true.
"Journalists should be congratulated for holding policymakers to account for actions that risk a monumental breach of trust during a public health crisis. They should certainly not be castigated."

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

"NUJ members across the corporation are outraged at the treatment of a respected colleague and a key face of the BBC. It is wholly unacceptable for journalists to be pilloried on social media, and let down by their employer, for doing their jobs whilst scrutinising decision-making and holding the government to account."

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