Thursday, 9 December 2010


Notes from the last law lecture of the term, which will cover the main points we have learnt.

1. Legal framework in the U.K

- Criminal and civil courts
- Criminal: state vs. individual (prison sentence if found guilty)
- Civil: disputes between organisations or individuals (i.e libel cases)

- Crown courts: cover indictable offences (carry sentence of 5+ years)
- Magistrates courts: summary offences (carry sentence of 5 years or less)

- Sometimes an offence can be seen as either indictable or summary, which is known as an 'either-way' offence funnily enough!

2. Court reporting

- Stage 1: After incident - report what happened (no danger)
- Stage 2: Warrant issued/someone arrested (case is active, kind of!)
- Stage 3: Police lay charges
- Stage 4: Trial

At stage 3, here are the uncontested things that you can report

- Name and age
- Address and occupation
- Charge(s)
- Date and place of Crown Court hearing
- Bail and legal aid conditions
- Names of counsel

REMEMBER: Prejudice leads to contempt, so be careful what you report and when you report it.

- During trial: no reporting when jury is not present.

3. Libel and defamation


DEFAMATION is a tendency to...

1. lower individual(s) in the estimation of right thinking people
2. cause them to be shunned/avoided
3. disparage them in their business, trade or profession
4. expose them to hatred, ridicule or contempt

Libel defences

1. JUSTIFICATION: "It's true and I can prove it"
2. FAIR COMMENT: "This is my honestly held opinion based on the facts"
3. ABSOLUTE PRIVILEGE: court reporting
4. QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE: police quote, council meetings etc

Reynold's defence

- In basic terms, a journalist can be let off if the defamatory remarks are seen to be in the public interest.

- If you come to your conclusions after practising 'responsible journalism' (i.e - kept notes, diaries, recordings), your defence will be enhanced.

4. Privilege

- Read my notes from the privilege lecture.

5. Copyright

- In simple terms, copyright laws are in place to protect intellectual property that belongs to an individual.

- News organisations (print and tv) have an agreement to use a certain proportion of each other's material, such as sport highlights. This is known as fair dealing.

"Pictures courtesy of..."

- To give another example, if a paper picks up an exclusive, rivals are allowed to publish that information

- Same applies for internet/online material.

Read my notes on copyright.

6. Privacy and confidentiality

- WIKILEAKS SAGA! Perhaps the biggest breach of confidence story ever.

Three areas of concern. Do not report...

1. state (official) secrets (e.g - matters that may hinder home security)
2. commercial secrets
3. facts about somebody that they would prefer to remain private

Matters that fall under the public interest can often excuse breaching confidence of sources.

Read my notes on privacy and confidentiality.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Here's what I did in the last news week on WINOL. Next week will focus on features to co-inside in In-Style's Maria Milano visit.


- Over the weekend, Chris worked hard to make the site look better and he has done a very good job. In all his excitement, he made a few spelling mistakes with the front page banner and other text he inserted. Like a good Chief Sub, I was on it in a flash!

- General clean up of the site. Got rid of old material, changed a few headlines for practical and editorial purposes.

- A bit of code forced Joomla to mangle the whole features page. Had to sort that!


- Chased up a picture for Stu's story: was going on the front page so particularly important.

- Found a poll module on good old Joomla extensions. Once it was downloaded, I put it on 'Extension manager' so I could add the poll about gay marriage onto the site.

- Spoke to our Picture Editor Jase Curtis about pictures(!) I found another fancy Joomla extension that could showcase his images. Maybe too late in the term for him to bother?!

- Another scan over the published articles. Checking the usual stuff: headlines, house style, legals, spelling etc.


- Subbed a lot of the Journalism Now! pieces from the first years and MA students. Didn't realise it wasn't really my job, but did them anyway!

- Then Output Editor of the BBC's Politics Show Tim Burke came in and we had some great discussions. We debated about the line between gay marriage and civil partnerships and whether the poll I put up was misleading as a result.

- He then went through the stories on the front page and made some advanced points about writing style and telling it properly. I learned a lot from spending the afternoon with him.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Notes from Laura Barton and Brian's debriefs.

- We actually hit all our deadlines!

- Great presenting from Cara (news) and Will (sport). Handover banter was good too.

- Fantastic student report about the fee demos, but voice over could've been a bit more measured to let the pictures speak for themselves.

- Particularly good shots in sport this week; especially getting the Winchester City manager covering his face after conceding a goal.

- Despite technical issues (including the handback to news), the bulletin was quite bulky and had a lot of substance.

- The features programme was also good, had a One Show feel, and was another string to our bow this week.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Ian Anderson's media law extravanganza canceled due to adverse weather conditions!