The role of the media covering criminal trials ‘in constant evolution’

THE role of the media in reporting criminal trials has been “in constant evolution”, according to a piece in the weekly, law and legal affairs section of The Scotsman.

John Forsyth was writing today about a Scottish Parliament committee last week, which took evidence on to what extent the media – such as TV cameras – should be allowed in court.

Notes Forsyth: “The elegantly barbed exchanges between Donald Findlay QC [pictured] and lifelong newspaper man, Magnus Linklater, about which of them is most trapped in the past were a delight in themselves.”

And Forsyth finishes: “The challenge of New Media isn’t that they will offer a new route to conveying to the public courtroom events as they unfold. That’s just another stage of evolution. The issue is that the internet is never corrected or weeded. [Lawyer] Aamer Anwar wondered what this does to rehabilitation of offenders and several more agreed that the temptation it offers to jurors to second guess evidence can be irresistible. I look forward to the Justice C committee probing further and more deeply.”

Pic: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament