A journalists' union has entered the debate over coverage of the British National Party by calling for them to be treated on the same basis as other political organisations.
Last night, the National Union of Journalists held a debate over how reporters should respond to the rise of the far-right group which captured seats in the recent European Parliament and local council elections. But a rival union, the Chartered Institute of Journalists, says there is no need to single out the BNP for special treatment.
It says the election of BNP members as councillors and MEPs should be dealt with in the same even-handed manner as all other political parties.
CIoJ president Liz Justice said: "It is not an option ignoring views of elected members because they don't chime with your own political views. It is a reporter's job to report – and a sub's job to edit – without injecting personal feelings and prejudices into the story. It is not the job of a journalists’ trade union to dictate otherwise.
"That is why the Chartered Institute of Journalists is strictly non-political and urges its members to report the facts and let the readers make up their own minds. The electing public can make good decisions based on accurate reporting. Journalists are in the perfect position to let the public know what they are voting for when the next elections come along."
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