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Journalist receives outpouring of support after death threat

A journalist from a regional daily who received a death threat has been inundated with support on social media.

HTFP reported on Monday that an unnamed journalist from the Irish News had received the threat on Friday in connection with an ongoing murder investigation.

The National Union of Journalists condemned the death threat as a “sinister development” and the paper’s editor Noel Doran said he was taking the matter “very seriously”.

The episode has led to an outpouring of support for the journalist, who has not been identified for security reasons, from politicians and journalists from other media outlets.

Irish News

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness took to Twitter to describe the threat as “reprehensible” and demanded its immediate withdrawal.

In a note to the paper, former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan said she had been “very shocked” about the death threat and she wanted to “express sympathy”.

Alliance Party deputy leader Naomi Long told her Twitter followers that that it was “utterly disgraceful that anyone is threatened for doing their job” and said a free press was “fundamental to a free society”.

And SDLP press officer Martin McAuley expressed solidarity with Irish News journalists, saying that the threat “won’t deter them!”

Other journalists in the province have also tweeted their support for the Irish News reporter.

Sam McBride, political correspondent at the Belfast News Letter tweeted that “threatening to kill a journalist you don’t like doesn’t make you look tough. It makes you look dangerously brainless”.

The Irish News reporter also received support from online news site Slugger O’Toole, UTV’s political editor Ken Reid and the BBC’s William Crawley.

In a statement on Monday, Noel said: “We are taking this development very seriously and the police are fully aware of our concerns.

“A threat against a highly respected colleague is deplorable and all attempts to undermine press freedom must be firmly resisted whenever and wherever they emerge.”