Press Freedom In Court

This morning, NUJ London Photographers Branch member Jason N Parkinson is in Chelmsford Crown Court along with BBC, ITN and Sky News resisting a production order application by Essex Police to hand over all his footage taken during the Dale Farm eviction on 19 and 20 October this year.

It is a vital case for the freedom of the press, as Jason explains very well in his post on the LPB web site. Jason is there with full backing from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and legal support from Bindmans Solicitors. Several fellow branch members are in court to observe the proceedings, and have been allowed to Tweet from the court – and I am following these on #productionorder as I write this. At the moment the court is being shown some of his published footage.

Press freedom is vital for democracy, and under threat from various directions here – including at the Leveson inquiry. The case also demonstrates how vital it is for photographers (including videographers) to belong to a union which will support them personally as well as fight for the principles involved.

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