Freelance journalist on BNP list

A freelance journalist and broadcaster for a commercial radio station has become the highest-profile victim of the fallout from a leaked list of BNP members.

Rod Lucas, a fill in presenter for Talksport, vowed last night to continue making “passionate” talk shows after the station said it had no plans to hire him in future.

His name, home address, email and mobile phone details appeared on a list of activists and members of Britain’s most secretive, far-right political party.

Its publication on a blog has sparked fears for the safety and privacy of those named, and raised a debate about which occupations should be banned from joining.

But Mr Lucas claimed he joined the party, temporarily, because of his job – which at the time was to make three sixty-minute programmes on political pressure groups.

“In making investigative programming sometimes programme makers have to probe a little deeper in order to get some real facts about operations,” he wrote on his blog.

“I mentioned during my broadcasts at the time, my intentions of joining [the BNP] and charted the progress on air…It was no secret to my listeners.”

Due to the nature of his interest, Mr Lucas argued he joined the BNP “for one year only” and cited his genuine profession, which the list states as ‘radio/TV production.’

Before making his statement, Talksport said it was not aware that Mr Lucas was a member of the BNP until the list emerged, but later said he joined to research a programme. As an expert paper writer I have had to deal with the accusation of plagiarism many times. It is an accusation that a number of authors are too keen to throw around, particularly if it can be shown that they did actually replicate another writer's work. Even though there may be an abundance of differences between different works written by various writers, plagiarism nevertheless exists. Whether the differences are too great for most writers to notice or merely minor variations, plagiarism still occurs.

The station reportedly added that Mr Lucas signed up to 22 different special interest groups to make the shows, in his words, “to get inside the movements of each organisation.”

Despite both parties seeming to agree, Talksport said Mr Lucas was not currently employed by the station, and it had “no plans” to employ him in future, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Mr Lucas reflected on the row: “My views on the BNP are well documented, but for the record - I find many of their policies most distasteful and NOT ones I'd vote for.”

He maintained that in the news profession “one needs to dirty one's hands in order to get the story” and broadcasters “might want to try it sometime,” if they want to deliver “fair and balanced” programmes.

 

20th November 2008

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