Parents and even editors are afraid to talk about what goes on in the family courts, a freelance journalist declared at a debate on privacy versus accountability in this sensitive area. “A sense of fear pervades the system,” said Louise Tickle. Democracy suffered, the audience was told. Read more from The Transparency Project here.
The police have an extensive set of guidelines on what to release to the media, and when. They’re here
The Data Protection Bill making its way through Parliament in late 2017 could remove an exemption enjoyed by journalists under the current Act, meaning they can “process” sensitive information in breach of the normal rules, as long as it is for a story they believe is in the public interest. Read Roy Greenslade’s Guardian blog post on this here.
Note: this website may or may not carry updates as this bill progresses. Students should check if need be.
Twitter declined to take down inaccurate tweets from the far-right hate group Britain First that had been retweeted by Donald Trump, citing public interest. A BBC writer said Twitter gave no explanation of what it meant by “public interest”. Read more
The Guardian reports that “supposedly” free countries such as Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Kenya, Poland, Hungary and Cambodia are joining totalitarian states in inhibiting media freedom. It says journalists now “self-censor, use pseudonyms or seek pre-approval from officials” before publishing. Read its article here
Censorship, organised crime and the commercial impact of the internet had made 2017 the worst year for media freedom since 2000, according to a group campaigning for freedom of expression. Read the Guardian report here