Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Close to half-way

Sir Cliff Richard v The BBC continued yesterday with police witnesses telling of their dealings with BBC reporter Dan Johnson. It's spotlighted some uncomfortable language from both sides, fairly callous about Sir Cliff, with a faux bravado - "Bonkers but brilliant". But it's only become public since Sir Cliff brought the action, and whilst it may be embarassing, it's not the point of the claim for damages.

BBC silk Gavin Millar doesn't seem to have been picking too hard at the South Yorkshire Police in cross-examination. He's probably confident that, on the big point, news media should be able to report the names of people that police are investigating. Mr Justice Mann and others may judge the way the BBC presented that bald fact was disproportionate, intrusive and more - but not against any law or precedent. Courts shouldn't be deciding whether or not this was a lead story, or whether cameras can be poked through windows from the air - at least when no-one's home.  Roy Greenslade opines further in The Guardian along the same lines. 

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