NUJ view gets limited airing, as Sun journalists arrested

WHILE there was across-the-board coverage in today’s press of the arrest yesterday of more Sun journalists, on suspicion of making illegal payments to police officers and other officials, the view of the National Union of Journalists was given only a limited airing.

Reports also widely had the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, reassuring staff the paper will not be closed down, but the Sunday Herald and the Scottish Mail on Sunday were unusual in that their coverage also included NUJ’s position, quoting general-secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, arguing the journalists are being betrayed by their employer.

There were eight arrests yesterday – five Sun journalists, plus a police officer, a member of the armed forces and a Ministry of Defence employee. A fortnight ago, four Sun journalists, and a serving police officer, were previously arrested.

The Mail on Sunday’s website produces a detailed timeline of the wider story – of phone-hacking, etc – compiled by the Press Association, here.

Meanwhile, earlier today, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: “… we don’t want politicians to be regulating content and I think that is completely agreed.

“But on the other [hand], we need to have a tougher system, and I would like it to be an industry-led system, but it needs to be properly independent of newspaper proprietors and newspaper editors and if a newspaper is going to be punished for stepping out of line then it needs to be a credible punishment.”