PPB Motion on protection of sources – 2013 AGM

The Institute deplores and condemns the disastrous surrendering of confidential material on journalists sources by News Corporation’s Management and Standards Committee (MSC) to the Metropolitan Police.

It is apparent that much of this information was confidential journalistic material and should have been subject to the protection of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This information should not have been released unless by court order after a hearing before a judge at which the sources and individual journalists concerned should have had the right to independent representation.

The Institute calls on Parliament to introduce legislation so that confidential sources who have been negligently and without court order identified by the media institutions receiving, using or paying for their information can sue for compensation for the breach of their Article 10 Freedom of Expression protection of source rights as recognised by English common law and the European Court of Human Rights in a longstanding line of powerful rulings that recently included TELEGRAAF MEDIA NEDERLAND LANDELIJKE MEDIA BV AND OTHERS v. THE NETHERLANDS – 39315/06 – HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1965 (22 November 2012)

URL: http://www.bailii.org/eu/cases/ECHR/2012/1965.html

UK law on the right of sources to have a legal remedy against media publishers that betray their duty of confidentiality should be given the same recognition as set out in the US Supreme Court in Cohen v Cowles Media Co 501 US 663 (1991)



Posted on by CIoJ in 2013 AGM, 2013 AGM motions

One Response to PPB Motion on protection of sources – 2013 AGM

  1. Wyn Freedman

    Journalists protecting their source is the fundamental of journalism. Without protection what source will want to whisper in any journalists ear? Without protection no journalist is in a position to judge newsworthiness – often cited as the fundamental of journalism. News not in the public domain will forever remain silent without source protection. Source protection is how news journalism works – without it news journalism does not work. Being a good writer does not necessarily make a good reporter. Sources must have confidence in the industry’s ability to ensure confidentiality of their identity, in law if necessary. It is a shame it has come to this. Until now it was a given – that journalists protected their source at risk of imperilment of their own freedom. Sources, even police sources, understood this. It is the basic tenet of a free society. I support this motion.

Reply to Wyn Freedman