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NUJ vows to renew efforts to defend press freedom

THE National Union of Journalists (NUJ) vowed to renew efforts to defend media workers on World Press Freedom Day today.

The union warned that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on journalists globally — the Press Emblem Campaign has estimated that more than 1,000 media workers have died with the virus. 

Assaults and death threats against journalists have also become increasingly common over the last year, the NUJ said. 

The union condemned the Tory government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a “substantial threat” to public interest journalism, and hit out at brutal crackdowns on journalists in Turkey, Myanmar and elsewhere.

The ruling against Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States on health grounds should be celebrated, the NUJ said, but warned that the fact he remains behind bars pending appeal shows the “grievous threat to unfettered journalism” that the persecution of individuals can pose.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “We renew our efforts to fight for journalism that is free from interference or threats.

“The last 12 months have involved a colossal collective effort in an increasingly difficult environment for our members, and we pledge to step up that work.”

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