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Practical Newspaper Reporting, 3rd Edition by Geoffrey Harris, David Spark

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8 REPORTING THE COURTS

1 COURT STRUCTURE

No fundamental difference exists between court reporting and any other reporting. The requirements are the same: to understand what has happened and to report it fairly, accurately, clearly and in a manner to catch the attention of the reader. Fairness and accuracy are vital to give your newspaper the protection of privilege and to avoid injustice to the accused, witnesses and to people mentioned in the proceedings but not involved.

A British MP had to make a statement in Parliament to rebut allegations made against him in a widely reported court hearing. Non-MPs have no similar opportunity. In such cases it could be dangerous to report a denial while the case is in progress as this, in effect, accuses ...

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