Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Media Sensation of Murder

A serious post this time.

The media have always found it better to sensationalise murder. But two recent cases have shown how irresponsible some sections of the media seem to have become.

The first case was Joanna Yeates murder, and her landlord, Chris Jeffries, suddenly became the focus of a media storm.

The second is the ongoing investigation at Stepping Hill hospital, where a nurse, Rebecca Leighton, has had all charges dropped against her. Now she has hired Max Clifford to defend her reputation.

Both cases show an alarming lack of judgement by editors. Circulations are dropping and the pressure is on to make sales - at any cost apparently. But all they have achieved is a false economy.

Chris Jeffries received substantial compensation, as no doubt will Rebecca Leighton. However, both have had their lives ruined by allegations about their private lives, comments about their mental state and no doubt some enterprising journalist has been raking in their bins.

Regulation of the media is a tricky subject for politicians of all parties. They seek the support of the media, which is essential to win votes. The phone hacking scandal has shown how dangerous such relationships can be.

But regulation is now required. The media consistently fail to abide by their own codes of practice - which seem to be on the lines of "Don't Get Caught". Crime must be allowed to be reported, but until a conviction is achieved, there should be no comments about the accused.

We don't want ridiculous privacy laws as seen in some other countries. But if the media does not start to act more responsibily, then that is precisely what is going to happen.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, and it's been a slippery slope for years that the authorities have really just stood back and let happen, but then again that could be said about a lot of law and order issues.

    And to be honest these kind of major crime stories just pass me by these days, and that's one reason. It's just a particularly vivid application of not really being able to trust what you read, so sometimes better not to read it at all.

    By the way, do you have an email address publically available, or could you email me on

    It's just something about your online security that you may not be aware of.