Leveson recommendations yesterday; Shetland Islands journalists today

THE day after Lord Justice Leveson issued his recommendations, proposing a revamp of Press regulation, and a group of journalists are already being given an insight what it might mean for them.

At pretty much the other other end of the country to where Leveson delivered his report, staff on the Shetland Times group are undertaking some training on media law.

Being presented by Francis Shennan (pictured) – who wrote a preview of Leveson last week for allmediascotland – the full-day, Real Law for Journalists course has been delivered across Scotland, including Shetland before, and in England.

Says Shennan: “The course’s title is due to the fact that, although I graduated in law and I teach media law at Stirling, Strathclyde and Westminster universities, it is taught from the journalist’s perspective and influenced by my 30 years as a journalist.

“I can, for example, tell journalists what they should do when you have three pages on a murder investigation in your paper and someone is suddenly arrested late at night. I do not use the lawyer’s trick of saying: ‘On the one hand…, on the other hand, but it’s up to you.’

“The course is continually updated and it has already been revamped to include predictions of what Leveson would recommend. Now, at last, we know what he has recommended.”

The course being taught today will also cover defamation, copyright, contempt, identification of children, privacy, etc.