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Was this trial by media?


Cymro.

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So what happened to innocent till proven guilty?

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johndrew

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morddwyd

".. has no teeth."

My point exactly. It should have the power to reign in all the press and punish them accordingly. Given the current state of affairs it should quickly become profitable (not that it should be profit making, but it would be self sustaining).

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Forum Editor

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"It should have the power to reign in all the press and punish them accordingly."

Over my dead body. That way lies press censorship, and that's the last thing we want. A free press system will result in abuses, but that's a price worth paying. Anyone who feels aggrieved at something published in a newspaper can complain to the PCC, or can take legal action against the paper.

Where I do agree is over the need for the press to exert a greater degree of self-censorship. If something is in the public interest it's fair to publish, but quite often there's stuff in the newspapers that serves no purpose other than to titillate, and publishers ought to be more discriminating. The problem, of course, is that they must all do it, and it's a big problem.

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morddwyd

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"and publishers ought to be more discriminating."

They are very discriminating already, necessarily so.

They print want the public wants to read, and what the public will buy.

It is we, the great British public, who should be more discriminating, in what we buy.

As with so many other perceived ills, it is our fault, nobody else's.

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johndrew

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FE

"Over my dead body."

We also live in a free country but have rules and laws to obey; why should the press be any different? Are you suggesting that any press report should be above the law or that normal good standards that would be applied by any right minded person should not apply? I hope not and doubt you would.

I don't think the press should be permitted to apply their method of trial, as shown in this case, to an individual. To do so makes a mockery of our legal system and encourages a lynch mob mentality where the press can condemn any individual with impunity - especially the average person who has not the wherewithal to use the courts. I do not believe in anarchy and I do not believe that holding the press to account using an independent body, with teeth, such as the PCC to be censorship; it is a simple control over unruly behaviour.

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spuds

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There is often talk about public protection and 'Watchdogs' that are there for this purpose. But can anyone tell me were one of the Watchdogs have ever found in the public's interest, before perhaps finding favouritism of those that they are investigating.

Its all well talking about court action, if the public want to deal with this as an individual, or collection of 'average' individual's, but the court procedures are usually well out of reach for a 'average' individual to fund such an action. And so the matter disappears in obscurity. There's even talk at the moment, that legal aid is under review?.

Would the long standing News of the World have closed, if it wasn't for some high profiles players causing a fuss. Over the years the NotW was well known for publishing certain details about people, and in some of those previous cases there was always an element of doubt, but the NotW survived all this, until now!.

As is the case now, this nurse will have to suffer any public or authority reactions, because she alone will have no means of defending herself, in the hope that any mistakes (if any) can or will be corrected. At the end of the day, people have died in suspect surroundings, and until the cases are finalised, nobody will know the outcome?.

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Woolwell

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I assume that the legal advisers to the press have decided that they are not in Contempt of Court Contempt of Court but perhaps they should be.

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bremner

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I do not believe many would like to see censorship of a responsible press, unfortunately we have all too often a very irresponsible press.

The press simply cannot be trusted to police themselves so I would like it to be a criminal offence for an editor to print anything regarding a person under investigation or charged with a criminal offence that has not been officially released by the police or CPS, up to the time that that person or persons is convicted.

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spuds

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bremner

I may have misunderstood your comment, but how would you suggest the way so as to apply "up to the time that person or persons is convicted"?.

I would fully agree that there are on occasions that information should be withheld, and it is at times, usually by mutual agreements, pre-publication or otherwise. But suppressing some news could have negative results in a final outcome of a case, or vice versa!.

How many times have you attended court, and found that a persons previous 'wrap sheet' wasn't 'correctly' disclosed, and the jury as then stated that they would have given a different result, had they been party to that information?.

In my own opinion, there should be Watchdogs (with teeth) that are totally independent of the companies or parties that they are 'Watching', and who are accountable to the public and not some hidden agenda, perhaps laid down by a government body.

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bremner

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spuds

I believe that the press should only report what the police or CPS have said publicly or that which a Judge allows during a trial nothing more.

I do not understand your analogy. Previous convictions are only permitted as evidence during a trial in limited circumstances and it is rare in the extreme that a mistake is made in giving in previous convictions if permitted or after a conviction.

I think you may be confusing the often previously reported situation where a jury acquits someone and then is made aware of previous convictions for the same offence. That occurred because the prosecution were not allowed to make the jury aware of convictions during a trail. It is much less likely to occur now as a result of previous convictions being permitted in the limited circumstances as mentioned above.

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morddwyd

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"We also live in a free country but have rules and laws to obey; why should the press be any different?"

They aren't.

They are subject to the same contempt of court and libel laws as the rest of us.

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