A regional daily journalist has received a death threat in connection with an ongoing murder investigation, it emerged today.
For security reasons, neither the name of the journalist nor the nature of the threat are being released at the current time.
However the paper’s editor Noel Doran said it was taking the matter “very seriously” and the Northern Ireland police service (PSNI) was “fully aware” of its concerns.
Said Noel: “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.”
Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary, said: “This latest death threat issued against an Irish News journalist is a sinister development. There is a need for independent, fearless journalism in Northern Ireland and, in the current climate we regard the death threat as especially worrying.
“Journalists must be allowed to work in the public interest without intimidation. There is an obligation on those in positions of influence to work to ensure that reporters, photographers and editors are able to operate without risk or threat from any quarter. Journalists in Northern Ireland will not be deterred by such threats.
“Such threats have no place in a democratic society and should be condemned by all public representatives. Hostility towards the media is nothing new in Northern Ireland and NUJ members are well used to dealing with abuse and intimidation.
Added Seamus: “No journalist should be subjected to any form of threat. The chilling nature of this particular threat is of grave concern.
“The Irish News has faced down bullies before. It is the job of journalists to reveal inconvenient truths. In the face of intimidation from various quarters over many years the Irish News editorial team has fearlessly fulfilled that role and will continue to do so.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind employers of their obligation to constantly review security arrangements for all workers.
“Media organisations have an obligation to provide training and to constantly update health and safety policies.”