Monday, 11 February 2013

NUJ fights Manchester police production order over EDL demo film shot by video journalist

The NUJ is resisting  an application by Greater Manchester Police for a production order which would force video journalist Jason N. Parkinson to hand over film of an English Defence League march and counter protest.

The application is for all published and unpublished film shot between the hours of 10.30am and 12.30pm at the EDL march and a counter protest organised by Unite Against Fascism in Bolton on Saturday 20 March 2010. A hearing is set for  Monday 18 February.

Parkinson with the full support of the NUJ intends to oppose the production order.

He said: "I am not willing to hand unpublished material over. Journalists report the news and are not evidence gatherers for the police or anyone else. To do so would endanger the safety of all journalists in similar situations in the future. We would not be regarded as independent and would become greater targets from all sides.

"Also handing over the footage could overturn the incredibly important victory for press freedom we achieved fighting the Dale Farm production order last year."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Jason Parkinson is a front line journalist and should have the right to work in the public interest without fearing he will be forced to hand over his footage. The union will continue to support Jason’s campaign to protect journalistic sources and material.”
  • Parkinson was served a production order in 2011 for all film he shot over the two days of the Dale Farm eviction in Essex. Major national broadcasters also opposed the production order. In a united effort, the NUJ led an eight-month battle in partnership with the BBC, ITN, Sky and Hardcash Productions that ended in the Royal Courts of Justice. In May 2012 Judge Moses overturned the original Dale Farm production order in a huge win for press freedom in the UK.

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