More on media responsibility and injunctions

A month or so ago I wro­te an art­icle on here about how the rise in injunc­tions gran­ted pro­tect­ing the iden­tity of the parties was the fault of the tabloids, and it’s good to see that in writ­ing that, I was agree­ing with the views of Steph­en Sed­ley, the recently–retired judge of the Court of Appeal.

In an art­icle in the Lon­don Review of Books: The Good­win and Giggs Show (which I found via Roy Greenslade’s blog entry about it in the Guard­i­an) he says: 

The nam­ing of Good­win and Giggs is on a dif­fer­ent plane from min­is­teri­al brief­ings again­st judges, inap­pro­pri­ate as these are, because it dis­rupts the his­tor­ic equi­lib­ri­um between the judi­ciary and the legis­lature. The media may present them­selves as amused spec­tat­ors, but it is they who have pro­voked and exploited the break­down of an ele­ment in the demo­cracy they them­selves inhab­it.

A sen­ti­ment with which I whole­heartedly agree. And rather than sort out this per­fectly obvi­ous ele­phant in the room, seni­or politi­cians spend their time attack­ing the judges, rather than the media:

This is why the issues are large. It can be cred­ibly said that the fourth estate is close to being a state with­in the state, unreg­u­lated except to the mod­est extent that it chooses to reg­u­late itself and altern­ately feared and pandered to by pub­lic fig­ures.

Form­al reg­u­la­tion, I’d sug­gest, is over­due.

Mind you, in the UK at least we have the back­ground of some pro­tec­tion via the right to pri­vacy enshrined via Art­icle 8 of the European Con­ven­tion on Human Rights. A per­son whom I fol­low on twit­ter re–tweeted this link to an blog post by pop­star and new mum Pink, com­plain­ing about paparazzi try­ing to grab pho­tos of her new daugh­ter. At least in the UK and Europe that (fol­low­ing the case brought by JK Rowl­ing for breach of her son’s pri­vacy) is not allowed.

And in related news to do with the media: jury dis­charged before con­sid­er­ing wheth­er Levi Belfield abduc­ted Rachel Cowles because of adverse pub­li­city over his con­vic­tion of the murder of Milly Dowl­er. They couldn’t even wait until ver­dicts were brought in on all charges. The media simply don’t care about justice, or you — it’s all about the story.