Talkradio host George Galloway earned a heavy rebuke for a “biased and unbalanced” show on the Salisbury poisoning affair. Ofcom found “serious breaches” of the broadcasting code. People who disagreed with his “dissident” views were dismissed as inmates of Broadmoor Hospital, which houses criminals with mental illness. Ofcom said Galloway’s fame as a radical did not exempt it from having to achieve due impartiality. Read more.
An injunction to stop the Daily Telegraph exposing alleged sexual and racial abuse by a businessman was “a devastating blow” to press freedom, the paper said in six pages of coverage.
The Court of Appeal granted an injunction to stop the paper naming the “leading businessman”, because the story probably arose from a breach of non-disclosure agreements – in which employees are paid money to stay silent.
The Telegraph said the ruling was “contrary to the age-old principle against prior restraint of the press”, which traditionally said the media should not be prevented from publishing stories that people wished to suppress – on the basis that they could be sued if the story was unjustified.
The editor said he was confident the junction would be overturned.
Prime Minister Theresa May said in the Commons that NDAs were being used unethically. Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “It seems that our laws allow rich and powerful men to pretty much do whatever they want as long as they can pay to keep it quiet.”
Telegraph gagged by injunction
The PCC rejected a complaint that the Guardian paid money to a criminal by hiring disgraced MP Chris Huhne as a columnist. In May 2014, the Readers’ Editor of paper said it should not have run his article complaining about his own conviction (Press Gazette, September 2014). Read more
Journalists have been jailed, but without law-breaking there would be no press freedom and many scandals would have gone unreported, said Mick Hume in Press Gazette (July 2014). Read more
Readers complained when convicted MP Chris Huhne used his Guardian column to write about a barrister who had been involved in his case. UK Press Gazette’s May 2014 report raise points about ethics, freedom of expression, and opinion columns. Read more