Ally Fogg defends censorship in breach of Journalists’ Code of Conduct about the expression of comment and criticism
In the Guardian’s You Tell Us on 25 February 2011, Ally Fogg was asked “I wonder if Ally teaches his trainees about how he denies his fellow writers on CiF their freedom to comment by reporting them to the moderators. Is AllyF a member of the NUJ and if so doesn’t it have a code of ethics about this kind of thing?”
Nope. And for the eleventy-thousandth time, I very rarely report comments to the moderators, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me who reported whichever comment it was you have a bee in your bonnet about. Funnily enough I teach the NUJ Code of Conduct in a class about ethics, and it doesn’t contain anything about the pros and cons of reporting the witterings of self-important bigots to the administrators of a website.
To which the questioner replied in a post that was moderated:
“Rarely report – so at times you do?
And at what time in your course do you introduce justifiable censorship? It’s a slippery slope Ally and sadly you’re already well on the way to the bottom.
As for the NUJ Code of Conduct, about which you say:
it doesn’t contain anything about the pros and cons of reporting the witterings of self-important bigots to the administrators of a website
So what about this?
A journalist shall at all times defend the principle of the freedom of the Press and other media in relation to the collection of information and the expression of comment and criticism. He/she shall strive to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship.
So when you rarely report someone to the moderators, even someone you consider to be a wittering self-important bigot, or give them a slight nudge in the right direction, is that you striving to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship?
So who is the bigot?”