Reckless BBC publishes names and addresses of protestors

The frequency, scale and nature of attacks on the ‘new left media’ (NLM) are escalating.

Last month, BBC Chair Sir David Clementi made a barely-veiled and misdirected attack on the NLM. He started by complaining about audiences booing journalists for ‘doing their job’ but soon turned to attacking online media, whose freedom to speak out clearly irritates him:

Truth and accuracy are under assault like never before. False claims travel the globe in an instant. And new media channels can speak, unchallenged, to closed groups of audiences.

In fact, of course, the Establishment’s concern about the NLM is exactly that they are not speaking to closed audiences, but instead affect the wider narrative. Equally evident is the fact that journalists often receive boos when they abuse their position – as the above-linked article demonstrated.

On Thursday, deputy Prime Minister Damian Green made an unprincipled attack on the NLM by abusing the memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Ignoring the daily dishonesty of much of the ‘mainstream media’, Green defamed the NLM as “unscrupulous blogs and websites that have no regard for any attempt to check the truth” and accused them of endangering MPs, saying they:

“risk feeding an atmosphere of increasing hatred which at the most horrible of extremes led to the killing of Jo Cox.”

Shame on him.

Of course, Green missed the point that the murderer of Jo Cox fed his hatred on the bile of the mainstream, right-wing media.

But the BBC is also far from blameless. It routinely regurgitates government propaganda phrased as fact and, when this involves repeating government policies and tropes that demonise the poor and disabled, it contributes to the ‘atmosphere of increasing hatred’.

But this week it has more directly endangered people.

The people of Ryedale in North Yorkshire have been trying desperately to prevent fracking imposed on them by the government and protests are ongoing. On Thursday, the BBC reported that four local protesters had been appeared in court:

kirby mis.png

Newsworthy enough, but the BBC went on to not only name the four people – who have not yet been convicted of any crime – but to give the addresses of three of them.

Fracking is a fraught and contentious issue, with strong feelings both among objectors and among those who want to see it done. By publishing the addresses of anti-fracking protesters, the BBC has put three people, including two women, and potentially their families at risk of stalking and reprisal.

A local man who saw the article immediately put in a complaint to the BBC:

I have never before seen people targeted in such a callous way as to put themselves and their families in danger by publishing their street addresses as you have done . This is irresponsible and vindictive.

At the moment they are still innocent until proven guilty and the BBC has made it very easy for anyone with an extreme right-wing agenda to seek these people out in their homes.

The BBC would not do this to murderers or paedophiles so why do you think it is acceptable to do it to ordinary people who are protesting against fracking? I am shocked and appalled that you would stoop so low.

The BBC has not yet responded.

This situation exemplifies a whole situation that is being ignored completely by the Establishment in favour of its nonsensical and agenda-driven attacks on the ‘inconvenient’ NLM.

Clarification of article

In an article first published on 21 October 2017 under the headline “Reckless BBC publishes names and addresses of protestors”, THE SKWAWKBOX presented its opinion that the BBC had been reckless to report the names and addresses of fracking protestors who had appeared in court and had put them at risk as a result, without reference to this being standard journalistic practice. In doing so, the article did not distinguish clearly between statements of fact, conjecture and opinion, which led to a breach of Clause 1.3 (Accuracy) of the IMPRESS Standards Code. Click here to read the full adjudication by IMPRESS.

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36 responses to “Reckless BBC publishes names and addresses of protestors

    • It is most certainly sub-judice and could be clearly argued by a Barrister worth their salt that publishing names and addresses of people currently innocent in the eyes of the law is prejudicial to the case.

      • It’s standard journalistic practice.

        A cursory examination of any local newspaper will find reports along the lines of “Joe Soap of Alpha street, Beta Town appeared in Beta Town magistrates Court yesterday charged with x, y z offences”

        Once the names and addresses are read out in court they become public record.

  1. Reblogged this on The Night Owl and commented:
    This is one of the reasons why I am so sickened at having to pay a licence fee to the BBC.
    Their continuous Right-Wing Bias has gone a step too far this time!
    By publishing the names and addresses of people who, by the Laws of this Land, have a right to be thought innocent, until proved guilty in a Court of Law (and not via MSM), they have put innocent families at risk of reprisals – and then haven’t even bothered to issue an apology of any description!
    This is despicable!

  2. The BBC and the rest of the establishment media are losing control of the narrative as a result of technology which allows independent minded journalists relatively affordable access to the mass media market.

    This situation is really no different to any other monopoly being disrupted and dismantled. You are always going to get a lot of unfounded, sour grapes whingeing from those who have been dominating the market when they start losing control and losing market share.

    Rather than constantly bleating about it, the BBC et al would be well advised to focus on improving the quality of their journalistic output by providing the public with factual, unbiased reporting of current events, instead of acting as propagandists for tax dodging, planet destroying corporations and the anti-democratic Tory party.

  3. It’s actually routine for the media to report names and at least street names and towns of people who are up in court. Names and addresses are read out in court when someone is charged so it’s regarded as public information. Courts rarely make any exceptions, if ever as far as I know.

    As you point out this causes serious problems for those who are yet to be found guilty, may not ever be found guilty or who are charged with offences which are extremely minor, in particular when the matter is contentious. Locally to me four Black Lives Matter activists were charged with obstruction following a protest, a pathetically minor charge, but because the local paper printed their names and addresses they faced quite a lot of harassment.

    • It’s to avoid being confused with people of the same names and causing them distress/problems

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  7. Just stop watching and paying for the BBC there are plenty of alternatives . I freed myself from their crap 4yrs ago and never looked back

  8. Typical hypocrisy of Tory managed BBC. Maybe answer is to continue to “out” them for their hypocrisy, promises, lies, savagery etc. I write to Conservative and CCHQ most days & point out their miserable failings. BBC don’t care about bias. I’ve written several times & just receive mealy mouthed replies. BBC “hand maiden” of Tories. I expect the constant onslaught from all of us caused Harding to resign – useless moron that he is! If they are attacking – which they are; just look at Mr Nick Robinson whinging about being targeted – then we are all doing the right thing. As someone said a little while ago, it’s the way of the “streets!” Two can play that game.

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  10. To give the scale of the BBC’s “crime” some perspective the addresses given are as follows:

    One from a town – no street address.

    Two from Kirby Misperton protection camp (obviously not home addresses)

    Only one from a street address.

    “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-41677837”

    And as has been mentioned above addresses are often given in court and thus become public record

    eg: “https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news-appeals/man-remanded-custody-over-firearms-discharge-bradford-pub”

    A bit of a none story I think.

    • ‘Only one from a street address.’

      ONLY one, eh graham?

      Remind me – Did they give savile’s full address? hall’s? lee-travis’?

      Oh, that’s right – They were only molesting kids while employees; hardly anti-corporate, environmentalist, tree-hugging hippy ‘terrorists’ , were they?

      But the public have a right to know, eh?

      • Saville was never charged.

        I’ve found BBC references to the other two’s towns – as in one of the fracking cases.

        (DLT has not been found guilty of “molesting kids” – he indecently assaulted a woman researcher)

        Google “BBC Newcastle magistrates” and it’s apparent that it’s a bit of a lottery whether street or town addresses are used.

        But I’m not sure what the thesis is here.

        Is it that addresses which are disclosed in open court should never be reported? Should addresses not be disclosed in court? Or – the most sinister – should only the “right people” have their addresses suppressed?

  11. COME ON AUNTY, IF YOU HAD BALLS, YOU WOULD BE UNCLE!
    PUBLISHING NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF THE INNOCENT!
    ONLY ONE REASON I CAN SEE AND THAT WOULD BE, YOUR TURNING INTO A FASCISTS BROADCASTER OF THE RIGHT AND FAR RIGHT!
    PAID FOR BY US THE VIEWER, USED BY THE POLITICAL RIGHT WING AGAINST THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING UNDER THIS TORY GOVERNANCE!
    WHO ARE INTURN THE CAUSE OF ALL THE ATTACKS ON THOSE WHO FIND IT HARD TO MANAGE!
    THE SAME THING HAPPENED IN NAZI GERMANY AGAINST THE JEWS AND MINORITY PEOPLES IN THE RUN UP TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR, THEN ALL THAT HAPPENED DURING AND UNTIL THE END!
    IT’S ASTONISHING THAT THE PAST IS REPEATING ITSELF AGAIN!
    THE TORIES DON’T GIVE A FLYING “F” ABOUT THE WORKING CLASS, THE UNEMPLOYED, THE SICK AND DISABLED!
    EQUALITY IS NOT IN THEIR VOCABULARY!

  12. Given the outrageous falsehood made by Damian Green – a carefully crafted assault on Independent News Media by he and his buddies – it is vital that Sqwawkbox etc contact him and request that he provide them with some examples of articles they have published that “risk feeding an atmosphere of increasing hatred which at the most horrible of extremes led to the killing of Jo Cox.”

    And please seriously consider initiating legal action against him – along with The Canary and Briebart – for defamation and slander. We cannot let this pass. Between you, you have tens of thousands of readers who I am sure would be happy to contribute to taking such action, along with the 20,000 or so members of Momentum, and the hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members.

    It is of course no coincidence that this vile, repulsive and malevolent falsehood has been concocted and disseminated – as with the ongoing attacks on RT – when Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is ahead in the polls and increasing it’s lead. The Establishment’s propaganda machine has been smearing and misrepresenting and vilifying it’s political opponents for decades, and there are no depths to which it will not sink, the totally distorted reporting of the playful remark by Clive Lewis (to a MALE member of the audience who had come up on to the stage to participate in the fun) being a perfect example (which The Guardian reported fairly accurately, unlike the Tory propaganda rags).

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/20/labour-mp-clive-lewis-apologises-for-get-on-your-knees-comment

    Compare that with this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/20/female-labour-mps-condemn-clive-lewis-get-knees-comment-party/

    And this:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4730773/fury-from-labour-mps-as-corbyn-ally-clive-lewis-is-caught-on-camera-growling-get-on-your-knees-bh-at-hard-left-party/

    If it had been a Tory MP no doubt these same newspapers and the MPs criticising him would have been saying it was all harmless fun and reproaching anyone criticising him for being politically correct. Or more than likely these newspapers wouldn’t have covered it at all (and the vast majority of their readers be unaware that it even happened).

    And why wait until now to put it in the public domain?

      • I checked most of the daily newspapers at the time to see how they were covering it, and not one of them had any examples of articles by Sqwawkbox et al that risked “feeding an atmosphere of increasing hatred which at the most horrible of extremes led to the killing of Jo Cox.” And if there HAD of been any such articles, they would have undoubtedly included something about them.

        And as you no doubt know, the only one that DID make a refence to any articles was The Telegraph, and that was your article (or was it The Canary’s) about Laura whatsit being invited to speak at some Tory meeting or whatever, and The Telegraph saying that she wasn’t because she had turned down the invitation.

        On reflection, one can’t help wondering if the whole thing was a set-up (or is it quite normal for the Tories to invite BBC journalists to come and speak at their whatevers). Given the criticism she’s been getting in recent months for political bias by the Left, it does seem somewhat implausible that the Tories would then invite her to come and speak at some meeting or whatever (sorry, I can’t be bothered to start looking for the specific details).

        Anyway, it was of course a hate-filled article that risks putting the life of some MP in danger from some crazy psychotic person who happened to read it. Not!

        Isn’t it funny (not haha) how these black propagandists can turn an honest mistake in to something sinister, or try to. But my overall point is that if THAT was the best they could come up with, then Green probably won’t be responding to your email. And if THAT’S the case, then please, please, start legal proceedings against him for defamation/slander, and for disseminating such a hate-inducing Big Lie and deception (of all those who believed it). Before they double down!

      • An Afterthought: In The Telegraph article they quoted Damian Green as saying the following:

        “We have in the past few years witnessed a sad and completely ridiculous rise in routine comparisons to Hitler and the Nazis….”.

        So says he as he spews forth a gargantuan Big Lie that Hitler and Goebbels would have been proud of and applauded. The Big Lie – along with Repetition – was one of Hitler’s favourite black propaganda techniques.

        One day soon, hopefully everyone will see these psychopaths/sociopaths for what they are. But for THEM and their minions our reality and our history would be totally different.

  13. Once again I have to applaud the SKWAWKBOX for providing and delivering an alternative media voice, not least because the responses often provide even more insights into the dire state of politics.
    Thank you, Allan Howard.

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  15. The addresses were published to scare future protesters away from the subject. Shows to go ya that the Establishment wants complete control over everyone.

  16. Um…

    If you search for the words “Magistrates’ Court” in the BBC news website, or that of any local paper, you will see that report is a textbook template of any report of Magistrate’s Court proceedings, which have to be very carefully-worded based on reporting restrictions, and include age and street address to risk defamation by misidentification of people with identical names.

    for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41706720

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-41716994

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/court-round-up-latest-convictions-from-sheffield-doncaster-barnsley-and-chesterfield-magistrates-courts-1-8807124

    http://www.chad.co.uk/news/crime/court-lists-who-s-been-up-before-mansfield-magistrates-1-8480247

    The fact you’re spinning a conspiracy theory out of a misunderstanding of reporting law is ridiculous.

      • What is the point of the article?

        Is it that names and addresses of persons appearing in court should never be published?

        Or names and addresses should not be disclosed in court?

        Or that only some people (other than the obvious young persons) should have their names and addresses suppressed; if so what would be the criteria for suppression?

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