In an attempt to make the justice system in the U.K more transparent David Cameron is expected to announce that television cameras will be allowed into courts.
Before I get into this I will admit that I voted for him. Yes, I know Conservatives aren’t exactly a popular choice, but look at the other choices. The Lib Dems would destroy the country with their unbelievable naivety and Labour’s idea of fixing the cash deficit would be throwing away more money.
However, instead of broadcasting the whole trial the nation would only see the opening statement and the verdict. I haven’t agreed with everything that Cameron has done, but I have seen the point of it.
I didn’t agree with the cuts to our military nor did I agree with the rise in tuition fees (although they thankfully don’t affect me) but I understood why they happened.
I just don’t know why he’s agreed to this. How will broadcasting the opening statement and verdict make our justice system more transparent?
In my opinion they should go the whole hog or nothing at all. I’d prefer the nothing at all part, if I’m honest. I’m glad they won’t be broadcasting the trial otherwise witnesses could be in danger as well as the jury.
Broadcast journalists were the ones who pushed this so obviously there is something for the media industry to gain from it.
But I’m pretty sure it could be damaging for print journalists. Publications are already under threat from 24-hour news channels and their constantly updating websites and being allowed into courts was one of the things newspapers had left to them.
Our media already has a lot of clout when it comes to crimes. The most recent example being Rebecca Leighton. She was the nurse accused of contaminating the saline samples that led to several deaths in the hospital she worked in.
Her photo was plastered all over the papers and the news, one that showed a particular side to her. She looked like a party girl, a bit arrogant and a little mean. With this choice of photo most of the country believed her to be guilty.
Recently she had been released because of a lack of evidence and the photo accompanying this story was entirely different. She looked worried and haggard and it made you pity her slightly (if I find them I will add the photos).
She’s quite possibly innocent and yet her life will change for the worse. If you were a patient and she came in would you not ask for someone else?
The media has damaged her reputation. I don’t know if she’s guilty or not, but if she’s not then she doesn’t deserve the attitude she will no doubt come across.
Would giving broadcasters this power really be such a good idea? Is it really going to make our justice system transparent? Or is it going to become another way to exploit not only criminals but those who are falsely accused and throw them at the judging public?
I know this happens in other countries. I remember Michael Jackson’s trial and in my opinion it forever tarnished him. It might not have broken his reputation, but it certainly chipped it.