ITN Reporters banned

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ITN reporters, working for ITV News have been banned from the police press conference on the murder of Joanna Yeates for running a critical piece about policing.

On ITV News at Ten last night, Geraint Vincent questioned Mark Williams-Thomas, A former murder squad detective, about the investigation. Williams-Thomas claimed that the police were failing to conduct “certain routine inquiries”, such as sweeping the murder scene for evidence.

Writing on Twitter this morning, Daybreak correspondent, Richard Gaisford said: “Colleagues from ITN banned from #joyeates press conf. Cops not happy with coverage on ITV yesterday.”

An hour later, Richard added: “Eventually allowed in to press conference with colleague from ITV West. ITN still banned. Chief Constable very unhappy it seems”

At 2pm this afternoon, Avon and Somerset Constabulary released a statement on their facebook page saying: “We have made a complaint to OFCOM in respect of the unfair, naïve and irresponsible reporting on the ITN ten o’clock news yesterday evening.

“As we are still awaiting a response to our complaint it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time.

“A live murder investigation has been underway now for just twelve days and the media have played an important role in helping us to appeal for witnesses. While we appreciate the support we have received so far from most of the media we must step in if we feel coverage will hamper the investigation. Our primary aim will always be to secure justice for Joanna.”

Update: An ITV News spokesperson has released the following statement:

“ITN is hugely disappointed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s decision to exclude ITV News from today’s press conference. This decision will result in millions of viewers not being able to see new evidence or hear the latest police calls for witnesses. Our coverage has helped maintain awareness of this case, and we strongly disagree with Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s attempt to censor what information we can broadcast.

“Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s decision to ban ITV News follows reports on last night’s ITV News at Ten which raised apparent inconsistencies of the police’s handling of some elements of the case. The force was contacted numerous times ahead of broadcast but Avon and Somerset Constabulary did not use this opportunity to register any issues or raise a complaint with ITN.”

Source: ITN Press Office

Updated: Wednesday 5 January 2011
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