Wednesday 28 July 2010

Steve Dyson: Importance of press covering courts

After reading Heather Brooke's plea for tape recorders to be allowed in court (see post below), I was interested to see how Steve Dyson highlighted court reports when he reviewed the Northern Echo on his blog, hosted by HoldtheFrontPage, today.
Dyson writes: "I was pleased to see plenty of staff reports from local courts, including:
  • 'Pregnant woman was kicked in the stomach' on page four, covering a Darlington garden attack;
  • 'Teenager faces jail for fatal nightclub punch' on page five, describing a local nightclub death;
  • 'Nurse jailed for phone smuggling' on page nine, a fascinating tale about a prison nurse's misdemeanours; and
  • 'Blonde invited man into toilet, jury told' on page 41, a sorry tale of a pub groping gone wrong.
  • "Yes, it costs regionals a small fortune to cover local courts properly, but here was a day's worth of evidence showing the colourful tales that can be told, and offenders that need to be exposed. No media but the good regional gets down to this level of court reporting."
    • Courts have complained that they are not getting enough coverage from the media. Maybe if they were more co-operative with journalists and prepared to modernise by, for example, allowing tape recording or cameras in, others would give legal proceedings the same coverage as the Northern Echo. Then justice really would be seen to be done.

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