An article in the British Journalism Review makes familiar points about the threat to open justice caused by the lack of journalists in court; but then goes on to question the idea that people in court cases must always be named, especially in the digital age, when court reports remain searchable online long after print reports would have faded from memory. Academic and campaign Judith Townend says open justice should not merely mean catering to the needs of the media. Read the piece here.
A rash of cases of misconduct by jurors – including researching cases on the internet – prompted specific new penalties under the 2015 Criminal Justice and Courts Act. But serving on a jury has long carried perils – including having ones home and lands destroyed for returning the wrong verdict, or prison time for “being embraced”. Read more.
Scraping pictures and other information from Facebook and other social media could be unethical, the former editor Chris Frost argues in a book chapter (2018). He cites a publisher saying one woman’s picture was “publicly accessible”, but the account privacy was set to “family and friends”. Another picture of a possible Manchester bombing victim was taken from a hoax account. Both resulted in IPSO rulings. Read the full chapter here.
A loss-making Asian community station was sanctioned by Ofcom for accidentally playing a song that sexually mocked Muslims. Only two people heard the online broadcast after midnight, but one complained. Kanshi Radio said suspending its licence would effectively close it down permanently. Read the full ruling here
The Sun reports that producers of Coronation Street got things badly wrong when they showed an artist sketching an alleged rape victim as she gave evidence. It couldn’t happen in real life. Why would it be illegal – on two counts? Check your answers here
Claimants in libel cases do not have to prove they have suffered serious harm in order to win, a judge has ruled. They merely have to argue that the words used are seriously harmful, said the judge in a case involving a divorcing couple. This reverses previous understanding of the protection given in the 2013 Defamation Act, reports UK Press Gazette. Read more
There are also links to various legal commentators’ views at the Inforrm blog, published by the International Forum for Responsible Media, here
The Daily Mail paid damages after publishing pictures from a charity calendar featuring naked students. An agency wrongly told the paper it had consent to use them. A student claimed breach of copyright through the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. Read more (and see an image) here