Media law bits and bobs from the last seven days…
Lawyers talk libel
The libel reform event of the week took place at Gray’s Inn Hall last Tuesday, with a focus on the ‘public’. Tweets from the event can be replayed here and a thorough review by the Media Standards Trust’s Gavin Freeguard can be found here. My own contribution, following the event, was this piece for the MST and Inforrm: ‘We’re all publishers now’.
- “Law firms’ poor use of Twitter risks ‘damaging their brand'” reports The Law Gazette: http://bit.ly/gu9qxM. To download the full report you have to register with the report’s author, a digital communications agency called Intendance.
- [Update]: Quite a debate was sparked by this report, it would seem. See the Lawyer’s piece & comments here and Intendance’s response here.
Super injunctions & pre-notification
- Max Mosley was back in European court to argue his case for prior notification, a notion which horrifies many press commentators. Here’s Roy Greenslade’s take in the Evening Standard.
- Last Thursday the ITV Tonight programme discussed super injunctions and privacy, and Max Mosley was among the interviewees. While some of the narration was a little simplistic (the programme blurb says it will ask “whether they [SIs] protect privacy or limit press freedom”), it was a thoughtful look at the issue and even included a round-the-breakfast-table with members of the actual public. Mosley talked about his experience with News of the World:
“Whatever they [newspapers] may say when they try to justify these things by saying that this is in the public interest, the truth is they do it to sell newspapers and they’re prepared to inflict any degree of suffering or unpleasantness on an individual in order to sell a few of their newspapers. So they quite often ruin people’s lives just to sell newspapers.”
The Express & Daily Star are no longer covered by the PCC. This will not affect the budget for 2011, the PCC told The Media Standards Trust, after the organisation raised several questions about Northern & Shell’s departure from the body.
Out-law is hiring
Out-law.com, an invaluable resource for digital media law updates and explanations, has a new editor. Outgoing editor Struan Robertson bid farewell to Outlaw and Pinsent Masons last week to take up a new position at Google. Matthew Magee will be the new editor but vacancies are advertised for a new Out-Law lawyer and journalist.
On it goes: with more law suits expected and the DPP ordering a review of police evidence. Meanwhile, the Guardian asks just who is paying for Glenn Mulcaire’s legal battle. At the time of writing, Cameron is refusing to deny (or confirm) reports that Andy Coulson offered his resignation to the PM.
Tips & tools
Last week I mentioned new site Quora, as a way of asking questions and finding answers in your subject area. This week I’ve been getting to grips with two new bookmarking services: Diigo, as an alternative to Delicious, and Zotero for storing academic references. I’m finding both, the latter particularly, very well-designed and time efficient.
Know about a media law/ethics event? Let me know and I’ll put it in the round up and on a soon-to-be-written events page. You can find a full stream of aggregated media law news via @medialawUK on Twitter; and Meeja Law tweets go out via @meejalaw. Contact me via @jtownend or jt.townend [at] gmail.com.