Sections

Home / World News / Journalists’ role crucial in Covid-19 pandemic: UK

Journalists’ role crucial in Covid-19 pandemic: UK

The police, law officers, ministers, editors and journalists unions came together in the UK for the first meeting on Monday of a new committee to make sure journalists can operate without fear of violence or abuse, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated: Jul 13, 2020 20:23 IST

By Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times London

The committee, called the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, brings together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and the civil service to work in collaboration to make sure that journalists are free from threats and violence. (File photo for representation)

The police, law officers, ministers, editors and journalists unions came together in the UK for the first meeting on Monday of a new committee to make sure journalists can operate without fear of violence or abuse, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said that recent events in the UK such as attacks on journalists reporting on protests and threats to members of the press in Northern Ireland have exposed the fact that those who play an important role in the democratic process are not always safe.

The committee, called the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, brings together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and the civil service to work in collaboration to make sure that journalists are free from threats and violence.

Minister for media and data John Whittingdale said: “The UK has been at the forefront of the global campaign for media freedom but it is also essential that we protect the safety of journalists at home”.



“The rise in misinformation during the pandemic has highlighted once again the valuable role played by journalists working for reputable news organisations who produce accurate and balanced high-quality journalism. We must do all we can to ensure that they can carry this out free from threats and intimidation,” he said.

Members of the committee include representatives of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Crown Prosecution Service, Reporters without Borders, Society of Editors, the BBC’s head of Newsgathering, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and campaign group Index on Censorship.

Observers of the committee’s process include UNESCO, BBC World Service, International Federation of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Attacks on journalists are on the rise in the UK and around the globe. Increasingly the press is harassed and singled out for attack while doing their job”.

“Unfettered journalism is a vital part of our democracy and the NUJ looks forward to working with the committee to protect a free media and end the impunity of crimes against journalists.”

tags

SCROLL FOR MORE NEWS
This site uses cookies

This site and its partners use technology such as cookies to personalize content and ads and analyse traffic. By using this site you agree to its privacy policy. You can change your mind and revisit your choices at anytime in future.