Friday, 9 January 2009

Sally Murrer makes me proud to be a journalist

It was a real privilege last night to go to a party for Sally Murrer, the Milton Keynes Citizen journalist who suffered a 19-month ordeal with the threat of a jail sentence hanging over her for receiving information from a police officer.
Charges against her of “aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office” were thrown out at Kingston Crown Court in Surrey on 25 November.
The ordeal has shaken her confidence. Her home and office were searched by police when she was arrested. She was strip-searched and interrogated for 30 hours.
Talking to Sally you realise it was things like having her text messages, including those sent to her children, trawled through by police that really hurt.
Sally has said to the editor of the Citizen that she will work for the paper for six months and then decide what to do, but is not sure that she wants to continue as a news journalist after what has happened.
I hope she stays in news. It's people like Sally Murrer and Bill Goodwin and Robin Ackroyd who have the courage to stand up for journalism against the full and very intimidating power of the state that make you proud to be a journalist.

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