“NUJ members will continue their work”– union hits back at Saoradh threats

The NUJ has hit back at a statement by Saoradh that threatened journalists doing their job.

The political wing of the New IRA was angry that journalists accompanied police officers during a series of raids in Derry following the murder of Lyra McKee.

The statement warned: “This behaviour, if by a media organisation or a Crown Force unit disguised as the media, calls into question the supposed impartiality and objectivity of the media, it may in future, given the environment endanger members of the press who do go about their profession in an impartial and objective manner.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet and assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley replied, saying: “We note the statement issued by Saoradh. The tone is menacing and arrogant. This is a clear attempt to intimidate journalists covering the investigation into Lyra’s murder. The NUJ has confidence in the ability of our members to cover this story in a professional manner. We are unaware of the specific circumstances of yesterday’s raid.

“The concern expressed for human rights and for the safety and welfare of working journalists is hypocritical in the context of the murder of our member Lyra McKee. So too is the demand for an NUJ investigation into the presence of media representatives in the area during the raid. We understand that in the statement issued to the media Saoradh provided pictures of the media crew, clearly intended to send a ‘message’

“Our message to Saoradh is clear and unambiguous. NUJ members will continue to do their work in a professional manner and will not accept either threats or lectures on standards from an organisation which responded in such a callous fashion to Lyra’s murder. The best way we can honour the memory of Lyra McKee is to continue her fearless work in exposing social justice and inequalities.”

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