The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) is set to conduct an open hearing into the allegations of secret phone monitoring involving two Belfast journalists.

Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, eager to "shed light" on the covert actions of the police, are scheduled to attend the hearing in London next week. They are expected to reiterate its relevance to the broader journalistic community.

The journalists, who were erroneously arrested in 2018 and had their homes raided during an investigation by Durham Constabulary with support from PSNI officers, see this hearing as a crucial step in addressing concerns shared by journalists across the spectrum.

The probe stemmed from the inclusion of a draft copy of a Police Ombudsman's report into the 1994 Loughinisland atrocity in the pair's 2018 documentary, "No Stone Unturned," which delved into the UVF massacre. The false arrest and subsequent investigation raised questions about the freedom of the press and the protection of journalistic sources.

Mr. Birney and Mr. McCaffrey view the upcoming IPT hearing as an opportunity to not only bring attention to their own case but also to highlight the broader implications for press freedom.