Last year I wrote to you raising our concerns over your restrictions on media access to your Climate Camp at Heathrow Airport.
I am writing to you again, at the request of many of our members, to protest at your arrangements for this year’s Camp at Kingsnorth.
In a similar way to last year’s procedures, you intend to restrict the media to “facilitated tours” of the camp between 11am and 1pm. To limit access in this way severely hampers the ability of the media to provide objective and accurate coverage.
You then go on to state that journalists will be permitted to take part in the camp outside the two-hour tour, provided they sign a code of conduct. You might be aware that journalists are already governed by codes of conduct, including that of the NUJ, which you can read here
We consider it unacceptable that you should seek to control journalists in this way.
You also intend to issue a “press badge” showing name and affiliation. You should be aware that professional journalists will be able to identify themselves by producing their National Press Card. Many freelance journalists will not have any affiliation, as they are not working on behalf of any particular media company.
As an organisation that espouses openness and transparency, you risk accusations of hypocrisy if you follow such procedures restricting the media.
It is not too late to change this. Would you please reconsider your media access policy while there is still time?
National Union of Journalists