December 18, 2006

Judge, Jury, and entertainment for all the family

As the former head of the Flying Squad said today, “it looks like a soap opera”.

Police have arrested a 37-year-old in connection with the five murders in and around Ipswich. And that’s about all they’ve said.

But at the current rate, we’ll know whether he’s guilty and how long he’ll be banged up for by the end of the day. The 24-hour news channels have jumped on this one line of news and given us a torrent of copy, video, audio, maps, helicopter shots, speculation, 3D graphics, screenshots from MySpace and worse.

And, in my opinion, they’ve done enough in 5 hours to prejudice a potential trial.

It took the BBC a few hours, but they found they had interviewed the arrested man for background material. Sure enough, this not-for-broadcast interview was on BBC News 24 by midday, despite assurances given to him that it would not be used. Must be guilty then, if we’re taking his rights away from him already.

The cameras have been given us multi-angle options of his house like we’re in an interactive DVD. Oh yes, there’s another picture of his roof. Very informative.

Not only is our world-renowned broadcaster damaging the chances of a fair trial, they’re also ignoring every other news story in the process. The competition between News 24 and Sky News has become so ridiculous that they dare not move away from the story in case they are a nano-second behind the other.

It’s making a mockery of ‘news’ and I hope every journalist involved in it feels ashamed by the decisions being made by their editors.

- 3 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Adam

    Yes, something tells me their decision to broadcast the interview was mainly to give the Beeb something up on Sky.

    Whether he’s guilty or not seems to be irrelevant. Although ‘technically’ they’ve not done anything to prejudice a future trial (i.e. in the words they’ve used), the mere weight of coverage gives the viewer the impression that the arrest is significant enough for him to be guilty.

    Should it emerge he’s innocent, it’d be hard for him to build his life up from this.

    18 Dec 2006, 17:42

  2. Paul

    I’m already looking forward to Duncan Bloy holding court on this one Chris…

    19 Dec 2006, 17:25


    suffork muder arrest male

    Cant sleep thought of horror remembering 2 daysago same male came to me for a massage and before the muders and info he chatting about like l was a person he could tell all his personal prolbums too. to much to write he about, his maner to me and hisactions to me, made me having to wash him right out of me, made me having to forget. Yet xmas fright, its the same person now charged for three muders.

    25 Dec 2006, 21:14

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