Police have been accused of attempting to censor ITN’s news programming, after the broadcaster claimed it was excluded by Avon and Somerset police from a press conference police held about the murdered architect Joanna Yeates. [This story has since been updated, see below]
The decision, which has left ITN “hugely disappointed”, followed a report on last night’s ITV News at Ten programme, which criticised the police’s efforts throughout a 12 day investigation into Yeates’ murder.
A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset police confirmed today that a complaint has been lodged with media regulator Ofcom, over the “unfair, naïve and irresponsible reporting” ITV chose to broadcast.
ITN claimed that the alleged decision to ban the newscaster from the press conference “will result in millions of viewers not being able to see new evidence or hear the latest police calls for witnesses”.
*Update – 06/01/11*
Avon and Somerset police has now reversed its decision to ban ITN news from press conferences, after it broadcast an “accurate and counterbalanced” report on yesterday’s lunchtime news.
However, the police force has issued a warning to the media, claiming it will “not hesitate to adopt similar tactics” if the media “hampers our investigation”.