different rules for different media
This is from today’s online edition of the NZ Herald, updated less than one hour ago:
Judge restricts online reporting of case
A judge has today taken the unprecedented step of banning news websites from naming two men charged with murder while allowing newspapers, radio stations and TV networks to reveal who they are.
Judge David Harvey said online media could not use the names, or publish images of the accused, to prevent the public searching for the information when the case comes to trial.
He said he was “concerned about someone Googling someone’s name and being able to access it later”.
He was also “concerned about the viral effect of digital publication”.
(…) read the full story here.
I always try to see the other side of things but I’m finding it particularly hard to do it in this case. So online journalists and print journalists should have a different set of rules? It all seems not only wrong and unfair but also terribly pointless to me. For as long as newspapers have been around people have been able to go to libraries or archives and search old editions. Google has just made it easier but it’s mainly the same process. The print edition of tomorrow’s Herald will have the name of the suspects. So what happens if a blogger decides to post a blog post about it and mention their names?
I know this is not any judge - he’s actually written a book on internet law. But, really, it does sound to me like this goes against a number of things, including freedom of speech. What’s really shocking to me is not that journalists are being stopped from doing their mission - informing their audience. What really shocks me is that it’s only *some* journalists that are having to do so. I wonder if this is even legal…