I'm stuck for ideas on where I'm supposed to go with this question. Any thoughts?
"You have made such a good job of reporting the Magistrates’ Court that the next day, your news editor sends you to Crown Court. You are going to be reporting on the first day of a murder trial. The defendant pleads not guilty and the court usher tells you they are expecting the trial to last two weeks. What impact will this have on the way you report the case?"
300 words max
Journalism law question Watch
- Thread Starter
- 29-02-2012 22:42
- 06-03-2012 16:57
If you're still stuck (it's been 5 days so idk if this will be helpful any longer...)
- You would be protected by the defence of absolute privilege as regards everything said inside the courtroom as it is a court case held in the UK.
- To qualify for the defence of absolute privilege the report must be contemporaneous, fair and accurate. This would not be subject to explanation or contradiction - so you can publish anything that is said in court by anyone concerned in proceedings (so not anything anyone shouts out from the public gallery, for example, unless it was definitely not defamatory) and you'll be protected.
- Because the case is going to go on for two weeks in order to still be protected under the absolute privilege defence, you would still have to report contemporaneously ('as soon as practicable') so you'd have to publish every day with a fair, accurate and contemporaneous report of the day's proceedings, if you were working for a daily paper. If it was weekly then as soon as practicable would be the next issue the next week. You would just have to add at the end 'the trial is expected to last two weeks' or 'the trial is ongoing' or something.
That's what I would put anyway, sorry if I've completely missed the point I'd probably expand on the definition of the defences and what it covers, etc to get the word count up.
Edit: K so you asked for ideas and i've given like the entire answer, haha, oops.Last edited by apassingfeeling; 06-03-2012 at 16:58.