Wednesday 11 February 2009

SoE director rejects 'conscience clause' call

Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell came out firmly against the idea of a "conscience" clause for journalists today, saying it was editors who carry the can for stories run in their newspapers.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Satchwell said journalists were bound by their contracts of employment to adhere to the Editors' Code of Practice, which underpins the work of the Press Complaints Commission.
The NUJ has argued that a "conscience clause" should be added to the Code so that journalists could not be sacked if they refused to act in a way that was unethical when put under pressure by rogue editors or newsdesks.
Sachwell said editors took the ultimate responsibility for what appeared in their papers. "Editors could end up in jail and should be the final arbitrators," he said.
Angela Phillips, senior lecturer at Goldsmith College, told the programme that young journalists were warned while doing shifts on newspapers that "if they don't do what they are told they won't get another shift."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, that's all clear then, Bob, thanks for that. Editors will "carry the can for stories run in their newspapers". Oh yeah?

If that were even close to being true the doors at the Northern and Shell building would be revolving so fast, the Express and Daily Star would achieve lift off. Not to mention the others...