Police terror notes grab could endanger journalists

On Press Gazette: this is of serious concern in the wake that photojournalists have had to deal with lately with police FIT teams, but also throws a huge spanner in the works for the documentary photographer too. How are we meant to approach people living in society, record social issues with this sort of draconian crap hanging over our heads

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Police terror notes grab could endanger journalist

21 May 2008

By Patrick Smith, PA Mediapoint

Police attempts to seize a journalist’s notes under the Terrorism Act could have “a serious chilling effect” on British journalism, the High Court heard today.

And it was alleged that the unprecedented bid to seize journalistic material could even put a reporter’s life in danger.

A two-day judicial review hearing began today in the case of journalist Shiv Malik who is seeking to overturn a production order made by Greater Manchester Police in March seeking notes of interviews he held with terrorist suspect Hassan Butt.

Representing Malik, James Eady QC said the order may be incompatible with Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and Article Six, the right not to self incriminate.

He said: “In short for Mr Malik there are significant problems: all the time and work that went into the book may be at risk. Sources do not make distinctions over whether the court has made an order or not, the perception would be that he has become a witness for the state.”

Eady added that Malik feared for his safety and the safety of his sources, many of whom would be revealed to police through the disclosure of his notes to them.

He said: “There is a very high value to be attached to press freedom especially where confidential sources are involved and particularly in this investigation.

“Because the order is so wide ranging…it would have a serious chilling effect.”

Press Gazette – Police terror notes grab could endanger journalist


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