NUJ condemns online and offline abuse of Nadine White
Politicians should be working to boost standards of public discourse, not indulging in petty outbursts that deepen hostility towards journalists.
Nadine White contacted the government's equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, to ask for a comment on a story. In response, the politician turned to Twitter to publish the email correspondence and accused the journalist of "creepy and bizarre" behaviour. As a consequence, Nadine has faced a barrage of abusive tweets, emails and nuisance calls.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"Instead of condemning the unacceptable and uncalled for pillorying of a journalist simply doing her job, Number 10 has today dug in and defended a minister who should know better.
"Putting in questions to elected representatives is pretty standard journalistic practice and the response from Kemi Badenoch was frankly weird, completely out of order and an abuse of her privilege. As a result, Nadine has had to contend with a barrage of online and offline abuse and hostility.
"Elected representatives should be working to boost standards of public discourse, not indulging in petty outbursts that deepen hostility towards journalists and journalism."
The NUJ safety survey showed an overwhelming number of respondents (98%) agree that those in public office, including politicians, have a leadership role to play in maintaining high levels of public discourse and they should avoid dismissing journalistic work as fake news.