Wednesday 17 June 2009

NightJack says good-bye

NightJack, the policeman blogger outed after he lost a legal battle with The Times to protect his anonymity, has written a piece which is on TimesOnline about his award winning bog - and why he isn't blogging any more.
The policeman, Detective Richard Horton, writes: "One morning I heard a rumour that The Times had sent a photographer to my home. Later in the afternoon came the inevitable phone calls from The Times, first to me and then to Lancashire Constabulary asking for confirmation that I was the author of the NightJack blog. That was easily the worst afternoon of my life.
"I knew that it was serious and quite rightly my employers have investigated it as a matter of misconduct. With that under way, I went to court to stop The Times from publishing my name, my photograph or any personal details about my home and my family.
"Over the years, I have dealt with some unpleasant characters. I know that some of them have made determined but unsuccessful efforts to find me and I believe that some of them are still looking. I didn’t want their task made easier. I also wanted to provide some breathing space for my employers so that they could try to limit the damage that my exposure will do to their deserved reputation as one of the best police forces in the country. In the event, I failed at court as it was decided that the public right to know about me outweighed any claim to personal privacy.
"My blog is gone now, deleted, slowly melting away post by post as it drops off the edge of the Google cache. .. I deeply and bitterly regret the damage that will be done to the reputation of Lancashire Constabulary, that is also down to me. Next to that, my own career prospects are trivial."
The blogosphere seems split about the outing of NightJack. Some believe it is his own fault for giving away enough info so that he was identified by a Times' journalist. Others that it is a blow against freedom of expression and whistleblowing.
Story via Judith Townend on Twitter.

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