Although this is the Easter Vacation we are, this year, continuing with our Law and Meda Round Ups to keep our readers up to date with what is is going on in the media and law world whilst our readers are subject to various “lock down” restrictions.

Some judicial business has continued during the last three weeks.  The Transparency Project has had a series of posts on “Remote Justice”:

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary’s website had a news item on “Trial by Skype” dealing with a Court of Protection case conducted by Skype before Mostyn J.

Byline Times has been running a series of incisive investigative pieces on the Governments handling of the Coronavirus crisis including

Hacked Off is publishing a weekly “Covid-19 Misinformation Round-Up” – see Week of March 30, Week of April 6.  It also has a “Coronavirus Reporting Forum

DCMS Committee chairman Julian Knight repeated the call for more action, saying: “To hear that crackpot theories are leading to people attacking phone masts or threatening telecom workers is sickening and it’s clearly time to act. We’ve called on the Government to work with social media companies to stamp out deliberate attempts to spread fear about Covid-19 and it is right that they are being called to account for allowing disinformation on their platforms.” The Press Gazette had a piece.

Hacked off had a press release “Response to comments from DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP: Newspapers and their websites must be held accountable over spread of false information on COVID-19”.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweeted that there is “absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus” after false claims circulating online resulted in attacks on at least 20 mobile phone masts.

Local television station London Live is being investigated by Ofcom after the channel broadcast an interview with the conspiracist David Icke in which he suggested the coronavirus pandemic was part of a plot by governments to destroy the economy and conduct mass surveillance. Ofcom said it has launched an urgent investigation into the channel for potentially breaching broadcasting standards after receiving 41 complaints from members of the public. The Guardian had a piece.

The Observer has an article “The cure for fake news: how to read about the coronavirus” on how to sift the fact from the fiction in respect to the overload of information generated by the outbreak.

Internet and Social Media

The Guardian had a piece “Tech giants struggle to stem ‘infodemic’ of false coronavirus claims”.

Forbes had an article “Social Media Data Suggests COVID-19 Isolation Inspires More Nude Photos”.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The ICO had a statement on investigating coronavirus scams on its website.

The Guardian had a piece “Worried about Zoom’s privacy problems? A guide to your video-conferencing options”.

Healthcare IT News had an article on the COVID-19 ongoing debate around health data privacy across Europe and how new frontiers are opening up daily as the European Commission and individual member states seek ways to engage digital technology in their efforts to contain the spread of the virus while adhering to the requirements of GDPR and the region’s exacting ePrivacy regulations.

Norton Rose Fulbright Data Protection Report had a post “Obtaining and sharing employee health status information in a pandemic”.

The Guardian had a piece “Tracy Brabin’s phone number accidentally displayed on ITV’s This Morning”.


Open Democracy had a post “The surveillance industry won’t save us from crises”.

Byline Times discussed the approach on surveillance taken from governments around the world, from taking personal information from social media accounts, stepping up facial recognition and collecting biometric data without consent.

Foreign Affairs had a piece “Coronavirus and the Future of Surveillance

The Panopticon blog had a post “The Non-Disclosure and Barring Service: Victim Access to Information”.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

Ofcom has warned ITV that relying on a “combative dynamic” between presenters, such as Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, can prove risky in complying with the Broadcasting Code. The Press Gazette had a piece.


IPSO’s blog had a post “Opinion pieces and COVID-19 reporting”.

IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


In the case of Darwin v Norman [2020] NSWSC 357, Fagan J awarded two men who were part of a commune have AUS$200,000 damages for libel against a blogger.  She had accused them of fraud and deception . The Sydney Morning Herald had a piece.


In the case of Hiram v Mullen [2020] SC EDIN 23, Sheriff Cottam awarded a professional dog walker £3,000 damages against a business rival for a defamatory Facbook post.  There was an article in the Scottish Legal News entitled “Ruff justice: Dog walker ordered to pay £3,000 in damages for defamatory Facebook post about business rival” and an article in the Edinburgh News.


The Business Times reports that Surgeon Julian Ong Kian Peng has lost his defamation lawsuit against a woman who told other doctors that he and another specialist were taking advantage of “vulnerable” female patients for sexual activities with them. The surgeon said the woman’s claims had injured his reputation and caused him distress, embarrassment and hurt to his feelings, but District Judge Lynette Yap dismissed Dr Ong’s action with costs, finding that the defendant’s claims were justified.  There was a report on Singapore Law Watch.


Reuter had a piece on a draft law in Turkey which would require foreign social media companies with high internet traffic to appoint a representative in the country to address concerns raised by authorities over content on their platforms.

New Zealand

On 3 April 2020 Palmer J handed down judgment in the case of Stringer v Craig [2020] NZHC 644, a libel claim brought by a former Conservative Party member against the former leader of the party and a number of those involved in the publication of a booklet accusing him of being engaged in dirty politics. The defence of qualified privilege, based on “reply to attack” was successful and the claim was dismissed.

United States

Just Security had a piece “Lawsuit against Fox News Over Coronavirus Coverage: Can It Succeed? Should it? “.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

We are not aware of any media law cases listed for next week.


The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:

Rachel Riley v Murray, heard 7 April 2020 (Nicklin J)

Peck v Williams Trade Supplies Ltd 2 April 2020 (Nicklin J)

Tinkler v Ferguson & ors, heard 31 March and 1 April 2020 (Nicklin J)

BVG v LAR, heard 30 March 2020 (Nicol J).

Aven v Orbis Business Intelligence, heard 16 to 19 March 2020 (Warby J)

Serafin v Malkiewicz, heard 17 and 18 March 2020 (UKSC)

JQL v NTP, heard 17 to 20 March 2020 (HHJ Lewis, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge).

Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon, heard 12 March 2020 (Nicklin J)

ZXC v Bloomberg, heard 3 and 4 March 2020 (Underhill, Bean and Simon LJJ)

Sube v News Group Newspapers, heard 4 to 7 February 2020 (Warby J)

Please let us know if there are other reserved judgments which should be added to this list.

This Round Up was compiled by Nataly Tedone who is a media and entertainment paralegal.


The Coronavirus lockdown is an ideal time for Inforrm readers to compose all those blog posts they have been thinking about for many months but been too busy to write.  This is an ideal opportunity to keep in touch with the media law world.  We can be contacted at