Calls to revoke Rebekah Brooks’ award
Staff and students at UAL have renewed their calls to withdraw Rebekah Brooks’ honorary award following a recent MP’s report saying she should accept responsibility for the illegal interceptions of Milly Dowler’s voicemail.
Brooks was granted the fellowship award in July 2010, for her ‘considerable contribution to the creative and cultural industries’.
The honorary award was presented in recognition of her achievements including her being appointed The Sun’s first female editor in January 2003.
A letter, signed by academics, the union chair, and the student union was submitted to the university’s registrar, Steve Marshall, this week urging the fellowship award to be revoked immediately.
Steve Marshall said: “UAL bestows honorary degrees and fellowships upon people it judges to have made considerable contributions to the creative and cultural industries.
“It would be inappropriate for the University to comment on allegations about the activities of The News of the World while police investigations are continuing,” he added.
Contrary to UAL's journalism and academic principles
The letter calls for the university to ‘make a moral and educational judgement of what is fit and proper journalism’.
It goes on to suggest that practices exposed by the phone-hacking investigation are contrary to the university’s journalism and academic principles.
“UAL embraces clear public interest values and teaches students to practice journalism with an ethical code of conduct in pursuit of the truth.”
The call for withdrawal comes after the House of Commons Select Committee and MP’s investigating News International concluded that Brooks should accept responsibility for the phone hacking culture.
A Facebook campaign initially set up to lobby the university last year, gained much recognition after as many as 500 students, staff and alumni of the university joined the page in an unsuccessful bid to have Brooks’ honorary award revoked.
Brooks, who studied at LCC in the mid-1980s, is currently on bail over allegations of phone hacking and making illegal payments to public officials.
She denies all allegations.