The BBC, ITN, and Sky News have all handed unbroadcast footage of London's August riots to police after being served court orders, reports the Guardian.

The BBC, ITN, and Sky News have all handed unbroadcast footage of London's August riots to police after being served court orders, reports the Guardian.

The Daily Telegraph also disclosed material after being served with a production order. In deciding whether to grant the order, judges are required to consider the police's interest in gaining evidence against the public's interest in free press.

Here is one senior broadcast insider's take, as reported in the Guardian:

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"It is very very rare that we are served with a court order to hand over footage like this. We don't hand over material willy-nilly because it compromises the security of our journalists on the streets. Clearly we don't want them being seen as an evidence-gathering arm of the police."

The news organizations will hand over hundreds of hours of footage to police. The Times and the Guardian have challenged the police requests.

For more, read the Guardian's story.