Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What price a free press?

I'm normally not one to regurgitate Private Eye's work, but a piece in today's Eye puts the view of the Johnston Press as a bastion of local press freedom in doubt.

Milton Keynes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer was charged with soliciting and receiving leaks from one Mark Kearney, the ex police officer at the centre of the Sadiq Khan bugging scandal.

Murrer faces a lengthy and expensive battle against the charges, which are under laws designed to protect the Police from whistleblowers and those who report their stories. No problem, you would think. It's normal for newspapers to support their journalists through such trials, especially when fighting what is such an unjust law. But not so. According the the Eye, the Johnston Press, the owners of Milton Keynes Citizen, has failed to fund Murrer's defence - instead offering an interest-free loan to pay her legal costs.

Local reporters in South Tyneside now know how far their employers will go to protect them, as Johnston Press, as well as owning the Milton Keynes Citizen, also owns the Shields Gazette.


PETER SHAW said...

Private Eye has been following this case for months. Where were you all then?

rossinisbird said...

What's got your knickers in a twist?