ABC Bashir Doc Draws Criticism in the UK? – BBC

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Reporter’s log: Michael Jackson trial [b] Thursday 17 February: 2052 local time (0452 Friday GMT)[/b] The ABC network has just broadcast yet another documentary looking at the “secret world” of Michael Jackson. It told us nothing new. For the most part, the programme, presented by British journalist Martin Bashir, was a rehash of other investigations into the singer’s troubled life. But on the eve of Mr Jackson’s trial – should it have been on the air at all? As a reporter from the UK the contempt of court laws were drummed in to me at journalism school. The sub judice rule prohibits the publication of material likely to prejudice a person’s right to a fair trial when legal proceedings are pending. The law is designed to prevent “trial by media”. But here in America, the contempt laws are virtually non-existent. They allow TV stations to get away with broadcasting the most lurid of coverage before and during high profile cases. At one point during the ABC programme, one of the interviewees talked about the damning evidence against Michael Jackson and speculated that the jurors would find it hard to dismiss. I wonder how many of the prospective jurors were watching. Source:

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