Saturday 21 June 2014: 50,000 people marched through London to protest against austerity and the ruling coalition government.
The BBC was heavily criticised for not covering the largest anti-government demonstration for several years. It did however start coverage from 8pm that evening, but not before a deluge of social media condemnation of the publicly funded institution from across the globe.
Placards and banners highlighted a myriad of issues from tax avoidance and evasion to the bedroom tax and welfare cuts, education and NHS privatisation to calls for an end to the funding off the Trident nuclear weapons program.
Saturday 26 March saw 500,000 people march through London to oppose the coalition government cuts, one of the largest public oppositions this country has seen since 13 February 2003 when people marched against the impending war on Iraq.
Since that day many news outlets have focused on the damage done by the “violent minority” in the protest and news reports coming out began looking increasingly less like news and more like investigation and intimidation tools of the state.
This has led the NUJ to issue a statement urging the BBCnot to give up their footage of the day, as requested by the Metropolitan Police Force. The London Photographers’ Branch (LPB) committee also passed a motion and published an article condemning media outlets acting as intelligence gathers for the police and reiterated the role of journalists – to document for public record. This motion will go forward to the LPB members in the April meeting.