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May 1997

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[UK Press Gazette - 9 May 1997]

LETTERS - Help us fight for free press

Sir: ITN is suing Living Marxism magazine over its publication of the article by Thomas Deichmann about ITN's Bosnia reporting (The Picture That Fooled The World, published in LM97, February 1997).

ITN's lawyers demand that the magazine destroy all copies of LM97, stop repeating the allegations, publish an apology, pay libel damages and they have warned countless journalists off the story.

A major news broadcaster is using libel laws to thwart an open press and this has serious implications for journalists. The days of Robert Maxwell seem to be with us again.

ITN is a powerful media organisation which is in competition with alternative news organisations.

We do not agree that ITN should be allowed to restrict the sources that other journalists can use.

We encourage all journalists to support LM against the libel writ and defend a free press and open debate.

Tessa Mayes; Noam Chomsky; Philip Knightley; Roy Greenslade; Auberon Waugh; Charlotte Raven; Tom Gopsill; Geoffrey Goodman; Toby Young; Cosmo Landesman; Vanessa Thorpe; SJ Taylor; Linda Melvern; David Monaghan; Gavin Hills; and David Northmore.

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