Most writing on law is like a gas: it expands to fill the space given to it. But a new ebook by journalism trainer Cleland Thom bucks the trend, and it’s all the better for it.
Internet Law for Journalists, Bloggers, Students, Social Media Users … is as impressively succinct as its title is long. The book provides a tour through the expanding range of laws you need to consider when you publish online, illustrated with copious and simple examples, along with guidance for what you should do to avoid being added to the list. Continue reading
The following is taken from the law chapter of The Online Journalism Handbook. The book blog and Facebook page contain updates and additions – those specifically on law can be found here.
The Protection From Harrassment Act 1997 is occasionally used to prevent journalists on reporting on particular individuals. Specifically, any conduct which amounts to harassment of someone can be considered to a criminal act, for which the victim can seek an injunction (followed by arrest if broken) or damages.
One example of a blogger’s experience is illustrative of the way the act can be used with regard to online journalism, even if no case reaches court. Continue reading
This* is worrying on so many levels:
- a blogger links to evidence linking a reverend in the Anglican church with holocaust denial and antisemitism
- the reverend complains to Surrey Police, who pass it on to Yorkshire Police, who pay the blogger a visit, during which the blogger agrees to delete one of his blogs.
- in addition, it appears that the police have also spoken to the university which the blogger attends, where the head of ICT “would like to remind me that I should not be using university property in order to associate individuals with terrorists and Holocaust deniers”
- The blogger eventually chooses to speak up when the same reverend threatens another blogger with similar action (despite them being in Australia)
Forget about the specifics. Here are the questions:
- Why are police getting involved in a libel issue ? Update: West Yorks police say it was a claim of “harassment”.
- Why are they ‘paying a visit’?
- Why are they approaching an educational institution to gather information on that person?
- Why does that educational institution then get involved?
Extremely worrying. Watch this one.
*If that link doesn’t work, try this or this.