An online tool launched in June 2017 charts attacks on press freedom, across the European Union and associated countries. They include a cyber attack on an investigative website in Leicester, and a ban on local media attending Swindon Town Football Club press conferences. Find it here.
Be aware: places where the public freely go may not be “public places” in every sense – if they’re privately owned, you may need consent to film. Shopping centre security staff are hot on this, though they’re unlikely to worry about people filming with a smartphone.
The 23rd edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists reflects the fast-moving legal and regulatory landscape for the media, say its authors in a blog post. Juvenile anonymity in court cases, privacy and human trafficking are all areas with key changes that journalists must know about, they say – as well as journalists’ own rights. Read more
Parody and pastiche involve copying someone else’s creative work to some extent, which should breach copyright law. That in itself would infringe the human rights of the person making the parody. But as of 2014, English law allows an exemption for parody as long as certain tests are met, according to the website Keep Calm and Talk About Law. Read more
Journalism students used to be told they could not take notes at Coventry magistrates’ court; but they no longer need to accept such a ban. A member of the public appealed after being threatened with contempt for taking notes (elsewhere), and a resulting ruling says anyone – press or public – should be allowed to take notes unless there is a good reason to ban them. Read Cleland Thom’s article here.
The new “serious harm” test for libel in England and Wales has discouraged frivolous claims, say campaigners: but with the Scottish Parliament refusing to adopt most reforms in the 2013 Defamation Act, Scotland is now being used as a back door for libel action, they say. The Glasgow Herald has complained of a “chilling effect on press freedom”. Read more
A European Centre for Press and Media Freedom has been established in Leipzig under the EU, to “organise solidarity with threatened journalists across Europe, thus promoting media freedom as a constitutive element for open and democratic societies.” It follows a succession of projects to promote media plurality (meaning, more than one media voice). Read more here