Journalists urged to 'challenge the politics of hate' - Press Gazette

Journalists urged to 'challenge the politics of hate'

The National Union of Journalist today launched a website aimed at “challenging the facist politics of hate called Reporting the BNP.

The website urges journalists to “scrutinise people from all parties”. And states: “Our job is also to tell the truth, which is why we have provided this resource for journalists covering the BNP in the course of their work.”

The website includes background information on the party, its past, policies and key figures and explains “why the BNP is not like any other party”.

Among the resources on the website is a piece by Daily Mirror journalist Tom Parry on his experience of reporting on the party for his paper’s Hope not Hate campaign.

He said: “The first difficulty of reporting on the BNP is obtaining a useable comment from the party’s spokesman and deputy chairman Simon Darby.

“In my experience, a conversation with Mr Darby is unlike any with a mainstream party’s head of communications or press office…In the first days of the Hope not Hate bus tour – when he was still prepared to answer my calls – Darby would habitually turn the request for a statement on something one of the party’s prominent members had said into a personal attack.”

Launching the Reporting the BNP website today, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “Challenging the fascist politics of hate is a job for every fair-minded person in our society, not just a task for committed activists.

“NUJ members are proud to play our part in exposing the myths on which modern Nazis seek to gain power.

“Those journalists who may still believe that the rise of the BNP doesn’t affect them should consider the experience of Dominic Kennedy, investigations editor of The Times.

“He was brutally manhandled by BNP ‘security guards’ who expelled him from a press conference for the unspeakable crime of saying things their leaders didn’t like.

“Strange behaviour from an organisation which claims it wants to ‘remove legal curbs on freedom of speech’. BNP leader Nick Griffin even praised his stormtroopers by saying of their thuggery: ‘That’s not the actions of a snivelling PC party, but of an organisation that has had enough of being lied about.’

“That’s the true face of the BNP’s ‘freedom of expression’ policy’.”



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.

Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette