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Two Press film/still photographers arrested at Stop Oil protest


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12 hours ago, Martin L said:

Although I do not agree with what happened to those togs, if those tip offs are about something illegal (as these protests were), out of civic duty should you not inform the police?

No, my job is to take news photographs.  Also, on the odd occasion when I have given the police information they are not interested.  In addition, if my contacts know I am going to pass information to the police they will simply stop talking to me.  
 

The number of tip offs is small but normally most helpful in covering stories.  

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13 hours ago, Martin L said:

Although I do not agree with what happened to those togs, if those tip offs are about something illegal (as these protests were), out of civic duty should you not inform the police?

Slippery path to totalitarianism, one feather at a time. Remember the Nuremberg Laws? Civic duty? Me thinks not. 😞

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Quite interesting to listen to the follow-up on Ferrari's show this morning where he interviewed the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.

 

You can register with the Global Player and listen to the program here, available for 7 days only, the registration process isn't that onerous, name & age really, you can always lie.

 

https://www.globalplayer.com/catchup/lbc/uk/46vyD7z/

 

The interview is at 1h 35m 15s and is probably worth listening to in its entirety, to me it seemed quite revealing about possible motives for wanting to remove reporters from the scene. He complained that LBC and other media outlets were giving the protests the 'oxygen of publicity' and that 'your editorial policy needs to reflect whether you want to be part of the problem'. For those not in the UK the Commissioner is elected but he stands as a political candidate, in his case Conservative. He states that he and the Chief Constable were in a meeting all day yesterday.

 

Interesting follow up at 2h 7m 5s with Zoe Billingham & Martin Townsend.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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That same commissioner has crossed swords with Ferrari in the past because he felt that if LBC have prior information, as they clearly often do, then they should pass it on to the police. I'm not one of Ferrari's biggest fans but he certainly stands up for the freedom of the press.

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14 hours ago, Martin L said:

Although I do not agree with what happened to those togs, if those tip offs are about something illegal (as these protests were), out of civic duty should you not inform the police?

It's a shame to have to point out that, despite the best efforts of some, protest per se is not illegal, and that journalists are not agents of the state.

If I believe an offence is being, or is about to be, committed, I am duty bound to call the police. But, unless I see someone in a stripy jumper with a crowbar, it is no part of my duty to conclude, in advance, that something I have been told about is or is not an offence.

That said, no-one is immune from arrest.

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On 08/11/2022 at 14:12, Marianne said:

If the press are expected to reveal their sources and notify the police or risk arrest, press freedoms and democracy are at risk. Wondering where my country will be headed after todays elections, seeing stories like this in a fellow democracy gives me pause. 
I have only given a handful of red arrows in my 14 years here, but I couldn’t help giving one here today. I’m owning up. 

 

I live in a country where permits are required for political demonstrations, and where there's been one Opposition protest that had a permit in the last maybe two years.  

 

Blocking highways tends to get police action anywhere.   I don't think that or building barricades on highways and streets tends to have the effect the people doing these things believe. 

 

The US really is in a precarious position politically, and I hope it doesn't continue to go toward a one party government.   South Carolina when I was a child was such a state.  Education suffered, not just in the black schools. 

 

Protecting sources is an important part of being a journalist.  Arresting people, even when they're released after a few hours, does tend to send a message and has either a chilling effect or makes the demonstrators more angry and prone to escalation. 

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Comment from the bppa here:

https://thebppa.com/just-stop-oil-arrests/

 

Letter to the Police from the bppa here:

http://thebppa.com/content/uploads/221110-police_arrests.pdf

 

Good letter!

 

Comment fom the NUJ here:

https://www.nuj.org.uk/resource/journalists-arrests-at-just-stop-oil-protests-threaten-press-freedom.html

Edited by Mr Standfast
Added the NUJ
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On 09/11/2022 at 16:10, geogphotos said:

 

 

How about the general public having the legitimate right to take photos in any public place?

 

Or the simple fact that photography is not a criminal activity.

From Met police guidelines and also agreed by ACPO (link in previous post): 

Identifying the media

Genuine members of the media will usually carry identification, for instance the UK Press Card, which they will present on request.

Many amateur or “citizen journalists” now carry out a legitimate news gathering role and are unlikely to have special identification. Such news gatherers have the same rights and freedoms as the professional media.

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Thr inedpendent teview has been published. Training issues identified at all levels. Two of the arresting constables had not recieved the College of Policing NuJ awareness training, however two had.

 

https://www.herts.police.uk/news/hertfordshire/news/2022/november/m25-arrests-review/

Edited by Mr Standfast
Clarity
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On 16/11/2022 at 14:01, spacecadet said:

That does rather underline the limits of the utility of a press card.

 

Indeed, but I don't want to live in a country where in order to report on news you need to be approved by a central authority. Such concepts, if we look at history, have a not insignificant likelihood of resulting in sinister outcomes. An increasing number of people already feel the media is gatekept, one way or another.

 

I actually never knew that there was official police recognition (referring to posts above) of "citizen journalism" though, and it's encouraging to read that there is.

 

Personally I don't hold a press card (I suspect I'd not even be eligible, as it's not my full time job) but I have covered protests before where able. Massive respect to people who do this on the daily - covering rowdy protests while still tagging and uploading in a timely manner (especially when you're operating solo) is a huge ask.

Edited by Cal
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On 14/11/2022 at 22:01, zxzoomy said:

From Met police guidelines and also agreed by ACPO (link in previous post): 

Identifying the media

Genuine members of the media will usually carry identification, for instance the UK Press Card, which they will present on request.

Many amateur or “citizen journalists” now carry out a legitimate news gathering role and are unlikely to have special identification. Such news gatherers have the same rights and freedoms as the professional media.

 

Quite right.

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