The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: April 2012 (Page 2 of 5)

The Right of Reply and Correction: The Slovenian Experience – Marko Milosavljevic

Marko Milosavljevic, at the Journalism Department at the University of  Ljubljana, Slovenia, warns of the possible consequences of a statutory right of reply.

Since the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics began, three separate groups, the Press Complaints Commission, the ‘Roundtable’ group, and the Coordinating Committee for Media Reform (CCRM), have each put forward proposals for press reforms. The reforms proposed by the CCRM include the notion of a statutory right to reply, which would reserve prominent space for the subject of a story to respond. But how would this actually work in practice? Continue reading

Case Preview: Bento v Chief Constable of Bedfordshire – defending an allegation of murder – Gervase de Wilde

The trial of Amilton Bento’s libel claim against the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire begins at the High Court in London today before Bean J.  While the attempts of libel defendants to fight off claims by justifying what they have said often result in the claimant being put through the wringer at trial (the situation in the recent case of Cairns v Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB)), the defence here is at the extreme end of the spectrum: the meaning which the Defendant seeks to prove is that the Claimant, who does not currently stand convicted of any offence, is probably a murderer. Continue reading

Opinion: Legal and ethical issues for televising and tweeting court – Judith Townend

In the back bedroom the duvet was half off the bed and neatly folded clothing on the bed, a bathrobe on the floor too #spy #spook“, @JonClementsITV, crime correspondent, ITV News


We are long used to abridged sensitive or traumatic information in broadcast soundbites and scrolling news tickers, but court tweeting is still in its infancy as a medium, and can feel more intimate and immediate. Continue reading

Case Preview: Trimingham v Associated Newspapers – Trial of privacy and harassment claim against the “Daily Mail”

At Monday 23 April 2012, Mr Justice Tugendhat will begin hearing the adjourned trial in the case of Trimingham v Associated Newspapers. As we reported at the time, the case originally came on for trial before the same judge on 4 October 2011 but was adjourned the following day after the claimant made a successful application for permission to amend. Continue reading

US Freedom of Expression and Media Law round-up – 22 April 2012 – Gervase de Wilde

The last Inforrm US round up was published in November 2011 – apologies for the long delay since then. As well as a number of important Supreme Court decisions in the interim, there have been a number of developments, including a large award of damages, in the Obsidian Finance v Cox litigation. A judge decided that a blogger was not a journalist for the purposes of Oregon’s media shield law, provoking national and international comment. Web-based media more generally to be the focus of new developments in the law. Continue reading

Newsroom culture: how Murdoch set the tone at his tabloids – Deborah Orr

On Monday, the Leveson Inquiry will begin a week-long questioning of newspaper proprietors. The man himself – Rupert Murdoch – will be making an appearance. Don’t waste any time hoping that he will incriminate himself. Charismatic and powerful leaders of organisations set a tone. They don’t do any dirty work themselves, and those who are doing dirty work are usually at pains to shield their bosses from any possible consequences. At immense risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, this is usefully understood as “Working towards the Fuhrer”. Murdoch senior’s hands are likely to be clean, legally if not morally. Continue reading

No ads! Not here! Get over it? – Censorship, Hate Speech, and Freedom of Expression – Kirsten Sjøvoll

The publicity afforded to the Christian campaign group the Core Issues Trust’s “Not Gay!” posters since they were banned by Boris Johnson last week has been arguably greater than if they actually had ended up on the side of a bus going down Oxford Street. The adverts, which proclaimed “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” and allegedly promote the idea that homosexuality is akin to an illness or addiction which can be cured through therapy were banned by the Mayor of London days before they were due to appear on around 24 bus routes in Central London. Continue reading

Dial M for Murdoch – Tom Watson’s Preface

On 19 April 2012 Tom Watson MP and Martin Hickman published their book about phone-hacking and related scandals, Dial M for Murdoch (Allen Lane £20).  This is Tom Watson’s preface to the book, reproduced here with the permission of the authors and the publisher.

This book tries to explain how a particular global media company works: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and to cover up, Continue reading

Case Law: Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Fontevecchia v Argentina – balancing privacy and freedom of expression

An important international human rights case on privacy and freedom of expression has recently been brought to our attention.  On 29 November 2011 the Inter American Court of Human Rights handed down judgment in the case of Fontevecchia v Argentina (Case No 12.524).  The case involved the conviction and order to pay damages of two journalists –  Jorge Fontevecchia and Héctor D’Amico –  for the disclosure of personal information about the life of Carlos Saúl Menem, the then President of Argentina. There was a public hearing on 24 and 25 August 2011 in Bogota. Continue reading

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