Home Office Denies ‘Excluding’ Left Wing Hacks from Rwanda Trip

Guardian, Mirror and Financial Times hacks are complaining in Press Gazette that they were “blocked” from attending Priti’s Rwanda trip this month, with the Guardian going as far as to accuse the Home Office of trying to “avoid public scrutiny“:

“We are concerned that Home Office officials are deliberately excluding specific journalists from key briefings and engagements. [This] sends a worrying signal about the state of press freedom in the UK.”

Strangely, however, Guardian hacks were actually invited on the trip… their reporter just happened to fall ill right before leaving.

Even so, the Guardian is now donning tinfoil hats and claiming the Home Office rejected replacement hack, home affairs editor Rajeev Sal, because he might ask tough questions. They also claim the Home Office have deliberately rejected Sal from briefings before, something the Home Office tells Guido is “rubbish“. If Sal is such a tough interviewer, it does beg the question of why they didn’t submit him for the trip in the first place…

Guido’s departmental co-conspirator says the whole row is “silly“, as they can’t offer tickets to everyone, everywhere, at all times. They also point out how both the BBC and PA were on-hand throughout the entire trip – so those that couldn’t attend could get straight wire copy. In fact, even the picture used in the Press Gazette report came from PA…

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Maitlis Turns on BBC Over Cummings Monologue Slapdown

Emily Maitlis says the BBC was wrong to find her in breach of impartiality rules (twice) and accuses the BBC’s management of caving into political pressure from Downing Street. The Newsnight presenter added that she would not let the current affairs show become a “public announcement tannoy” for ministers.* No doubt Jess Brammar, whom Emily showers with sugary praise, will agree with Maitlis…

She defends her Newsnight monologue in which she delivered an American TV style personal rant: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot.” She claims “it hasn’t ever been explained to me what was journalistically inaccurate about that.”

Maitlis also defends her retweeting of Piers Morgan’s anti-government tirade. At the time the BBC said it was “clearly controversial, implying sharp criticism of the Government”. Maitlis once again disagrees with her employers, saying “the tweet said nothing I haven’t actually asked on air”. 

It seems Emily’s showboating for Press Gazette has seen her called into the headmaster’s office, with a BBC spokesman saying:

“Nothing is more important than our impartiality. All BBC journalists must abide by the BBC’s editorial guidelines and social media rules. There are no exceptions. We will be taking this up with Emily.

If Emily is completely unwilling to abide by the BBC’s impartiality rules she should look for a job elsewhere. There are lots of media organisations where delivering opinionated news is fine, just they’re not funded by a universal tax to pay her recently pared back £329,999 salary

*When was the last time you can remember seeing a minister on Newsnight? Nowadays that happens as frequently as there is a blue moon.

mdi-timer 23 July 2021 @ 14:16 23 Jul 2021 @ 14:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Buzzfeed Go to Court to Demand Journalist Reveals Communications With Sources

Buzzfeed has gone to court in the US to attempt to force the editor of British media trade website Press Gazette to reveal his journalistic sources. A motion filed by Buzzfeed in a New York court seeks to compel Press Gazette’s editor, Dominic Ponsford, to provide material in relation to this article he published in April 2015, a report about a Buzzfeed investigation doing in one of its rivals. Buzzfeed’s court application seeks to force Ponsford to reveal:

  • The research and production of the the 24 April Press Gazette report
  • Communications prior and post publication of the article between Press Gazette and the alleged source

Ponsford says:

“Why is Buzzfeed interested in my emails and any other documents I may hold? As a journalistic organisation does it not understand the dangerous ethical territory it is entering here?”

Remarkable behaviour for a news organisation employing journalists. What are Buzzfeed thinking?

mdi-timer 6 April 2017 @ 15:51 6 Apr 2017 @ 15:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IPSO: Peter Jukes Claims Breached Accuracy Rules

Press regulator IPSO has slammed claims made by Peter Jukes, Twitter’s self-appointed upholder of press accuracy, finding they breached Clause 1 of the Code of Practice: Accuracy. An extract from his book “Beyond Contempt” published in the Press Gazette alleged that in June 2014, journalist Dennis Rice had “threatened to investigate” Jukes over a donation from Hacked Off. Jukes claimed Rice tweeted: “I’m now going to blog about [Jukes] & his family”. In fact, Rice’s tweet had been sent on 31 January 2014, six months earlier, in response to comments posted by Jukes which had referred to the Rice’s family. As today’s IPSO statement says“The article therefore contained the misleading impression that the complainant had mounted an unprovoked attack on the journalist and his family.”

IPSO’s findings are highly critical:

  • additional steps should have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim
  • the journalist [Jukes] was relying on second-hand information from a highly flexible medium in which misunderstandings can occur
  • the complainant should have been contacted to check the claims, or other steps should have been taken to verify the nature and timing of the tweet
  • The failure to do so breached Clause 1 (i) [The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information]

Press Gazette has now apologised for publishing the Jukes extract. Rice tells MediaGuido in a statement:

“This is a judgement which underlines the importance of journalists checking facts – even ones who are sponsored by Hacked Off. Peter Jukes deserves credit for his crowd funding initiative, but no credit for his inability to check the date of a simple tweet.”

Jukes says:

“the letter from IPSO I have says it specifically doesn’t refer to my journalism by PG editorial process [sic]”

Perhaps it is worth re-reading this tweet of his from last June:

Indeed.

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