Thursday, 17 April 2008

Say no more

The New Statesman's media columnist Brian Cathcart is rightly outraged about the treatment by the tabloid press of Karen Matthews, whose daughter was allegedly kidnapped:
many of the gravest of the allegations against Matthews appeared in print after she had been charged with child neglect and perverting the course of justice. Isn't there supposed to be a law against that?
Millions of people have read those allegations and it is a racing certainty that among them are several members of the jury that will try Matthews.
Cathcart says that it is unlikely that the government is unlikely to take action even though there is indeed a law against it - the (1981) Contempt of Court Act. He attributed this to:
a reluctance to take on the mass-circulation press - the same reluctance we saw a fortnight ago when the government abandoned plans to introduce meaningful penalties for stealing confidential data.

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