Legal Standings of Journalist Reports

According to witnesses, the accused boy had squabbles with the dead girlfriend days before the incident. Detectives are still awaiting the test results of DNA samples collected from a knife used in the murder. The defendant’s lawyer, Doug Richardson asked the court to bail him out, citing the defendant had no previous criminal records. The court denied the request for the bail given the weight of a murder charge. The defendant remains in police custody awaiting the next court hearing as the victim awaits burial next month. Commentary Whereas journalists have the responsibility to provide the community with accurate information of the happenings going on around them, there are legal responsibilities they have to consider when reporting events (Banks 2012, 02). Court proceedings are sensitive. While reporting the murder case involving the teenager, Paul Ross, the law requires that the name of the defendant be withheld. Whereas there is never any problem mentioning the name of the victim unless, in a sexual assault or rape case, I chose to withhold the name of Monica Smith to protect the identity of the accused. Additionally, the report does not detail the names of the parents of the accused and the victim for the same reason of protection of identity. This is particularly imperative given the fact that a defendant remains innocent until proved guilty in a legal procedure. In addition, the report fails to mention remarks reported in the court as having transpired before and after the incident. Before the murder, the defendant is reported to have stated, If I can’t have her, no one can. Additionally, Ross is recorded to have broken down and confessed to killing his girlfriend during police interrogation. He said, I didn’t mean to kill her, just frighten her with the knife. This report dodges these comments primarily to prevent a scenario that may show prejudice and bias. The journalist report fails to mention these statements as that would seem as though the journalist already has a formed opinion that Ross is guilty. It leaves the legal responsibility of determining innocence or guilt to the judiciary. Second Court Case The Newcastle Magistrates Court on Monday bailed out a revered Newcastle barrister after an awry blind date led to a lawsuit. The 33-year-old resident was charged with attempted rape of 19-year-old Sunderland University Law student. The two were strangers to each other until Friday night when they met at a popular nightclub in town. The young woman claimed that they did not know each other until that evening when the defendant bought her drinks and asked her out to smoke a cigarette. She says it was at that moment that the defendant tries raping her, raised an alarm and escaped before calling the police. In his defence, the 33-year old Newcastle resident reiterated that they had mutual consent to spend the night in a hotel room next to the nightclub.