Alan’s free - are the media?

Alan Johnston speaks
NEW THREATS to media freedom were the theme of the successful London Freelance Branch conference on 26 January. BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston (above) noted that "it's becoming increasingly hard for journalists in war zones to present themselves as neutral observers". When he tried this in captivity with the Army of Islam, their leader said he "had made a nice speech" but it would not set him free. NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear identified a working environment of "churnalism", with reporters expected to churn out ten stories a day. The conference finished a few hours after the Freelance deadline: hear our audio report online and read full text in March.

* Audio: LFB Vice-Chair and NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear open the proceedings (12MB mp3 file) Jeremy Dear
* Audio: Alex Klaushofer's introduction (4MB mp3 file)
* Audio: Alan Johnston's contribution (10MB mp3 file) Alan Johnston
* Audio: David Crouch's contribution (10MB mp3 file) David Crouch
* Audio: Chris Frost's contribution (10MB mp3 file) Chris Frost
* Audio: Ibrahim Seaga Shaw's contribution (13MB mp3 file) Ibrahim Seaga Shaw
* Audio: Questions and answers (32MB mp3 file) Q & A
* Audio: Chris Ames's contribution (12MB mp3 file) Chris Ames
* Audio: Jo Glanville's contribution (14MB mp3 file) Jo Glanville
* Audio: Heather Brooke's contribution (14MB mp3 file) Heather Brooke

And, much to the disappointment of other lawyers, it was not possible to record Mark Stephens's contribution or those following.

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