Saturday, May 25, 2024

National Union of Journalists call on Thurrock Council to call off media ban threat

NUJ calls on council to call off media ban threat

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has written to the leader of Thurrock Council after the Conservative-run Cabinet recommended a series of stringent measures in relation to the press.

Writing on the NUJ website, Seamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, has voiced concerns to Rob Gledhill, the Conservative leader of Thurrock council, over a new communications policy which says that journalists who do not sign up to an approved regulator will be barred from the press bench, as will those who fail to ensure right of reply or “reflect the council’s position accurately”.

Those deemed to have contravened the new rules will lose recognition as a journalist or media organisation for a period of time determined by the council.

In the letter, Seamus Dooley said: “Members of the NUJ sign up to the union’s code of conduct which says journalists will strive “to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair”. Therefore I ask you to endorse the union’s code of conduct and to reconsider any part of your new strategy which restricts press freedom. Your readers need to know that they are being served by an unfettered press.”


  1. The question is – does this media ban also include community bloggers who were given the right to cover meetings by the government since the days of the Coalition? Community bloggers don’t sign up to the NUJ’s code of conduct because they are, by definition, amateurs who wouldn’t be accepted into the NUJ. If community bloggers are included in the ban then Thurrock Council will be in breach of the freedoms given to them by the Tory administration in Westminster which is rather a bold thing to do given that Thurrock Council is now Tory run.

    None of this comes as much of a surprise to me (or any other observant person) as the Tories in Westminster don’t really live up to their manifesto commitments or have to backtrack when someone points out that they are breaking them.


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