ObjectivesYou will be able to understand the terms:defamation, contempt, copyrightYou will also research codes of practice, regarding privacy, intrusion, harassmentYou will start the assignment and work to next weeks deadline.
Assignment briefIn this assignment you will discuss the legal and ethical implications of this story for journalists and understand the responsibilities and obligations of writers. (P4 M4 D4)Write a detailed explanation on the Jimmy Saville abuse allegations. You may include quotes and reference any research.Journalists and newspapers adhere to a strict code of conduct that is implemented by the regulatory body, Press Complaints Commission. What are the regulatory implications of this story for print journalists?When the story is broadcasted on TV what regulations would any news corporation need to adhere to against OFCOMS standards?The abuse scandal has also resulted in people being investigated by the police and some being convicted. What are the legal and ethical implications for journalists and newspapers when reporting on this?How can this story impact on the reader?
Defamation• Definition: Defamation is the act of harming the reputation of another by making a false statement to another person. The act of defamation may be through a false written or oral statement.• Libel is the legal term for a written defamatory statement;• slander is the legal term for an oral statement.• In order for a statement to be defamatory it must be both false and communicated. If the statement is true, it does not harm the persons reputation,• Example:An example of libel would be someone writing that another person is a thief. If the written statement is not true, the writer can be sued for libel.An example of slander is someone telling others that Lari is a thief. If the statement is not true, the speaker can be sued for slander.
Media example of defamation The X Factor judge took legal action against the media organisation owned by Rupert Murdoch after the Irish Sun published a story entitled Louis Probed Over Sex Attack on Man in Loo in June 2011. In this article, it was alleged that Walsh had sexually assaulted a man in a Dublin nightclub, but the music industry professional insisted this was a false accusation and sued for aggravated and exemplary damages. Leonard Watters, the man who alleged Walsh of assaulting him, was imprisoned for six months for making a false accusation. NGN subsequently accepted the article was based on mistruths and agreed to grant Walsh compensation, although it denied the allegation of defamation. Following the case, Walsh said he is "absolutely gutted and traumatised" that the article was published, adding: "I was totally bewildered as to who would have made up this type of story."
Contempt• CONTEMPT, A willful disregard or disobedience of a public authority.• An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.• Individuals may be cited for contempt when they disobey an order, fail to comply with a request, tamper with documents, withhold evidence, interrupt proceedings through their actions or words, or otherwise defy a public authority or hold it up to ridicule and disrespect.• The laws and rules governing contempt have developed in a piecemeal fashion over time and give wide discretion to judges and legislative leaders in determining both what constitutes contempt and how it is punished.
Contempt of parliament• This term refers to disobedience to, or defiance of, an order of the House, or some other insult to the House or its dignity or a breach of parliamentary privilege. It can relate to any attempt to interfere with proceedings or to obstruct or threaten Members in the performance of their parliamentary duties. In the House of Commons contempts are referred to the Committee on Standards and Privileges but any decision must be agreed by the House. The House of Lords does not have the power to suspend a Member permanently as the Writ of Summons which entitles a Member to a seat in Parliament cannot be withheld.
Contempt of courtStatutory contempt law bans the media from publishing or broadcasting, including on the internet, any comments or information that might seriously prejudice active legal proceedings, in particular criminal proceedings heard before juries. The concern is that a juror might hear or see something outside of the courtroom that would sway him/her when he/she is deciding whether an accused person is innocent or guilty• http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/jul/18/ contempt-of-court-medialaw
Contempt of court covers various activities, which can be said to undermine the integrity of the legal process.1. Publication of material which might prejudice a fair trial2. Breach of a court order3. Restrictions concerning minors4. Disclosure of sources5. Publishing jury deliberationsContempt of court covers various activities, which can be said to undermine the integrity of the legal process. A person guilty of contempt can be fined or imprisoned. Contempt of court may impinge on media law in a number of situations:-Publication of material which might prejudice a fair trial• An obvious example is the publication of an accuseds criminal record. The law is primarily governed by the Contempt of Court Act 1981 ("CCA 1981"), which makes it an offence to publish material which creates a substantial risk of serious prejudice to pending court proceedings.Breach of a court order• Courts may make orders banning publication of all or part of proceedings. Such orders are often challenged by the media. Publications in defiance of such orders are a contempt of court.• Restrictions concerning minors• There are a number of statutory provisions restricting the reporting of proceedings involving minors, the breach of which is a contempt of court. A similar provision applies to complainants in rape cases.Disclosure of sources• Occasionally, court orders are made compelling a journalist to disclose his or her sources. A judge can only do so where disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security, or for the prevention of disorder or crime (s.10 CCA 1981). Failure to disclose a source after an order has been made is a contempt of court.Publishing jury deliberationss.8 CCA 1981 makes it a contempt to "obtain, disclose or solicit" any part of a jurys deliberations..
CopyrightCopyright law originated in the United Kingdom from a concept of common law; the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.Rights coveredThe law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their material may be used.The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public.In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work.Journalist need to be aware of what they can and cannot do and, just as importantly, what their clients can and cannot do. At the least ignoring copyright will leave you out of pocket and at worst could result in legal action. Copyright means that you have the right to be paid for a third party to reproduce your work and that you have the right to be credited as the author of that work.
Task• In pairs research and come up with what would need to be considered for copyright In journalism• What role does the newspaper licensing agency (NLA) play?
Codes of practice• Privacy• Intrusion• Harassment• Young people and childrenPCChttp://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html
Official secrets Act• People working with sensitive information are commonly required to sign a statement to the effect that they agree to abide by the restrictions of the Official Secrets Act. This is popularly referred to as "signing the Official Secrets Act". Signing this has no effect on which actions are legal, as the act is a law, not a contract, and individuals are bound by it whether or not they have signed it. Signing it is intended more as a reminder to the person that they are under such obligations. To this end, it is common to sign this statement both before and after a period of employment that involves access to secrets.
Official secrets act• In pairs research and make a list of jobs that are commonly required to sign a statement to the effect that they agree to abide by the restrictions of the Official Secrets Act.• How would this apply to journalism?
Quiz1. What is the press codes of conduct?2. There are 16 areas that the code of conduct covers. What are they?3. Why do we have the press code of conduct?4. What is defamation?5. What does the term libel mean?6. What is the difference between libel and slander?7. Why do we have libel and defamation laws?8. What is the official secrets act?9. Why do newspapers need to be careful to follow rules like the code of practice, libel and defamation laws?