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Deep concerns over objectivity

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What appear to be more emanations of HS2 Ltd’s war on transparency are mentioned in an article by Stuart Spray on the Byline Times website.

According to the article, Mr Spray is an investigative environmental journalist and a fully paid-up member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), who graduated with an MA in investigative broadcast journalism in 2019.

[Why is HS2’s Press Office Blocking a Journalist from Doing their Job? | Stuart Spray | 17 April 2020]

For the past three weeks, I have been in regular contact with HS2’s press office requesting comments, statements and evidence in support of some of its ‘innovative’ approaches to wildlife management. But it appears that it has had enough of my line of questioning.

Two days ago, following a seemingly innocuous request for a comment regarding nesting birds in an ancient woodland which is currently in the process of being felled, a member of the press team told me that “for this information, I’d recommend contacting our Helpdesk or FOI [Freedom of Information] team. Our press office is for accredited journalists only”.

In a follow-up email to one of Byline Times’ executive editors, the press team clarified its position, explaining that it had “deep concerns” over my “objectivity as a journalist” and questioned my “motives for asking the questions in the first place”. They referred to my apparent support for the naturalist Chris Packham and Extinction Rebellion (XR) on social media.

Written by beleben

April 17, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Posted in High speed rail

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