RELEASE DATE: 15 September 2014
The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has pledged its support for the Press Gazette’s petition on protection of journalists’ sources.
“It is vital that all journalists get behind this campaign,” said Paul Leighton, CIoJ President, “because the protection of sources goes right to the heart of our work. If we cannot protect those who come forward with information we will rapidly see a decline in willing informants.
“It is shocking that police are allowed to smash the protection of journalists’ source rights in this way. It is clearly a gaping hole in the law. PACE regulations are the most appropriate means by which to access journalistic material, where a production order would have to go before a judge.
“The police need to immediately justify their actions in regard to Mr Newton Dunn’s information, and then give full details of how many times they have used RIPA to circumvent the rules regarding protected journalists’ material. If they can’t, or won’t, there is clearly something to hide.”
Sign the petition here – http://www.change.org/p/interception-of-communications-commissioner-sir-anthony-may-please-take-action-to-ensure-the-regulation-of-investigatory-powers-act-is-not-used-by-public-authorities-to-secretly-obtain-journalists-phone-records-and-identify-confidential-sources?recruiter=151617490&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
Notes for Editors:
- More than 500,000 RIPA authorisations will be given this year. So far the police have refused to confirm how many of their requests have involved journalists.
- The petition comes in the wake of criticism after police used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to secure details of calls to and from journalists during the Plebgate affair. No prosecutions were brought. Four police officers lost their jobs.
- Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.