THE Chartered Institute of Journalists believes that the election of BNP members to mainstream politics should be dealt with in the same even handed manner as all other political parties.

While the NUJ is holding a debate about the right way to handle the rise of parties like the BNP, the CIoJ believes that accurate reporting will undermine the strong support of such parties.

CIoJ President Liz Justice said: “It is not an option ignoring views of elected members because they don’t chime with your own political views.

“It is a reporter’s job to report – and a sub’s job to edit – without injecting personal feelings and prejudices into the story. The opinion writers’ job allows them to reflect their beliefs. It is not the job of a journalists’ trade union to dictate otherwise. That is why the Chartered Institute of Journalists is strictly non-political and urges its members to report the facts and let the readers (rightfully) make up their own minds.

The advent of the BNP should be treated no differently to any other political party by journalists dedicated to the concept attributed to Voltaire: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
“The electing public can make good decisions based on accurate reporting. I am clear that CIoJ journalists should not treat any political party with polite disdain or use their own political stance to undermine fair reporting.

“These parties now have democratically elected members and they will also be newspaper readers. The best way forward for journalists is to treat them as any other contributor and interact in a challenging way. Journalists are in the perfect position to let the public know what they are voting for when the next elections come along.”



Commenting area

  1. It is so nice to see people now accepting the fact that smaller and sometimes radical groups are getting press.. fairly and un – objectivley..thanks..

    Wish the nuj would take note.

  2. Nick Parsons June 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm · ·

    It is good to see that there is a ‘common sense’ union that applies sensible policies to reporting.
    The public are now so distrustful of ‘slanted’ or simply untrue reporting that a move like this could restore ‘truth’ to news articles and could even help to improve dwindling news paper sales.
    Well done !

    Nick parsons

  3. David Miers June 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm · ·

    I didn’t even realise that your organisation existed until Simon Darby (BNP Deputy Leader)mentioned this article on his website. I agree that the news should be reported without political influence, but I fear we are way past that and are now in (and have been for some time without realising it) an era of political censorship of (and interference in) the reporting of news in all of the mainstream British media. Watch out for infiltration of the CIJ with Common Purpose graduates now that you’ve refused to join in with lying about the BNP and it’s supporters and activities.

    I’d also advise you to get yourselves out there a bit more instead of leaving the dangerous and rabidly loony left NUJ to dictate how the news should be reported!

  4. MR. ERIK DAHL June 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm · ·

    Dear Sir
    I wish to applaud your correct decision on the reporting of any news regarding the British National Party.
    Only by having truthful,honest and un-bias reporting can the people of this country ,make proper decisions regarding the politics of the day.
    I thank you for stance on this matter.
    Yours sincerely
    Mr. Erik Dahl

  5. Shiv Satchit June 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm · ·

    Quite right. Our job as bona fide journalists is no more than reporting what happens and what is said. Facts and name have to remain sacrosanct.

    Injection of personal tendencies, whims or sensitivities in news reporting will inevitably result in the forfeiture of our credibility, integrity and objectivity which are valued code of code of ethics and practice to underpin journalistic professionalism.

    Leave the campaigning, crusading and propagandistic job to others who have an aptitude for it.

    From Shiv Satchit, Head of News, Global Media Network, UK

  6. Stuart Littleford July 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm · ·

    I agree that the BNP should have its activities reported on just as fairly as any other political party. The people in this country are not stupid and can make up their own minds.

    That’s what a democracy is all about and as journalists we should tell the full story not what a union thinks we should report.

  7. News in newspaper is and has always been accepted as news.
    Journalist used to do an excellent job of delivering the news to us, the public. The delivery of news is fundamental to commentators and legal analysts who used to rely on the news for the facts “at the time”. Now newspapers are allowing their journalists to play lawyer, accountant, actuary, medic, etc, which contaminates the news and makes it worthless to those who need it most.
    If journalists were trained to understand that newswriting is one very important stage in the democratic process we live in, then they would appreciate their importance in delivering to us good and true news, without playing lawyer or stirring ‘the pot’.

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