Wednesday 12 August 2009

Why BBC challenged Baby P restrictions

BBC head of newsgathering Fran Unsworth put up a strong case for why the BBC was one of the media organisations that successfuly contested the anonymity order stopping the naming of Baby Peter Connelly's mother and stepfather.
She told Radio 4's The Media Show today that the local authority had wanted the anonymity order to continue until 2026 and the BBC had contested it in the interests of open justice and open reporting.
Asked by Ed Stourton what the benefit of having the order lifted was, Unsworth said the BBC had been able to tell the full story of the backgrounds of Tracey Connelly and Steven Barker, including the fact that Connelly's father was a paedophile and that Barker had been accused of assaulting his grandmother.
She said it was in the public interest to show the "cycles of abuse" behind the perpetrators of the crimes against Baby Peter and give some insight and add to the debate about how legislators can act to protect children.
Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS, said the public had not understood why the names were freely available on the internet but were not being published in the mainstream media.
Unsworth suggested the way forward may be for judges to tell juries to be "sensible" and put information they may have seen on the internet out of their minds when considering the evidence in a trial.

1 comment:

Indy said...

thanks for the summary! i am doing a summary of my own, in swedish, but i didn't get the names of the interviewees but found them on your blog.