Media Regulation

Contempt of Court is interfering with justice to prejudice a person getting a fair trial. The act of law governing this is the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

If a crime is active or you write something which creates a ‘substantial risk of serious prejudice’ you are at risk of contempt and can be fined.

The Daily Mirror and The Sun had broken the Defamation Law when the story of Chris Jeffries had been published late December 2010.

They broke the law because they was unsure if the suspect was genuinely guilty, having no evidence of the death, yet The Sun still mentioned kids calling ex-teacher Mr Jefferies ‘strange’. This leaves the audience with a negative look on Chris without knowing the full truth.

The Daily Mirror also said “Cops now probe 36-year-old murder” linking a past murder to the death of Joanne. The word “murder” is used to make the audience think that this was a murder case, and that the murder was done by Jefferies. This also makes it seem like Chris committed both murders.

The Daily Mirror also makes Chris Jefferies seem like a paedophile referring to him as “Jo suspect IS peeping Tom” without any evidence to say that he actually is.

The Sun and especially The Daily Mirror also used images of Chris Jefferies on the front page looking intimidating to the audience making them believe that he was indeed guilty.

Later, it was found out that Jefferies had been released without charge and was entirely innocent of any involvement.

The Daily Mirror had been fined £50,000 and The Sun £18,000 for contempt of court.

“Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, launched the contempt action against the newspapers in May, arguing that reports about Jefferies were “so exceptional, so memorable” that it presented a “risk of serious prejudice” to any potential future trial of Yeates’s killer.” http://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/jul/29/sun-daily-mirror-guilty-contempt


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