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NUJ backs journalist's refusal to hand protest footage to police

The National Union of Journalists is backing a journalist’s refusal to hand over a journalistic video from protests in Bolton in 2010.

Greater Manchester Police applied for a production order with a hearing on Monday 18 February compelling James Parkinson to hand over the footage, according to the NUJ.

It is demanding all recordings, published or unpublished, between 10.30am and 12.30pm at an English Defence League march and a counter Unite Against Fascism protest.

But Parkinson said he would not give the police unpublished material and is being backed by the NUJ.

He said: “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.”

Parkinson, who last year resisted similar attempts by police to obtain his footage from two days of the Dale Farm eviction in Essex, said handing over the footage would be damaging to press freedom.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet 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.”

Credit: Press Gazette

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