Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sky News campaigns for cameras in court

Sky News has launched a campaign for the restrictions on television cameras in courts to be lifted and will launch a petition after the General Election, following the pattern of its successful campaign for leaders' debates.
In a speech to the Cambridge Union Society, John Ryley (pictured), head of Sky News, said: "There remains one more branch of our democratic system which broadcasting has still not properly penetrated - the courts.
"If the legislature is to be subject to far greater scrutiny so too must the judiciary, so the public can fairly judge the balance of responsibility between them."
Ryley said the channel would "launch a public petition, as we did for the leaders' debates, and remind our viewers, listeners and website users about the campaign every time we report from outside a court with no pictures of what has taken place inside. It's precisely what you'd expect from a truly independent news organisation able to push boundaries and challenge the status quo.
"Sky News will be campaigning hard to lift the ban on cameras in courts. We will explore every opportunity to mount a legal challenge against the ban on cameras."
More than 15,000 people signed Sky News' online petition for the leaders' debates, leading to an agreement last month between the three main parties and a joint team from broadcasters.
As an ex-Crown Court reporter I will sign Sky's petition. I think cameras have been kept out of court for far too long. In an age of 24 hour news we could get excellent coverage of important and newsworthy court cases if cameras were allowed in. Justice should be seen to be done.

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