Monday, 3 January 2011

Recommended reading on Chris Jefferies

There have been two very good blogposts about the media's coverage of Chris Jefferies, who was arrested and then released on bail during the investigation into the murder of Joanna Yeates.

See Anton Vowl's 'Chris Jefferies and trial by media' and Minority Thought's 'A loss of faith in the morality of the British press'.

Anton writes:

Now is a time full of speculation and implication, of innuendo and finger-pointing; you might hope that the established media could demonstrate more restraint and subtlety than the blogosphere, proving their journalistic credentials and why they should be trusted news sources, but what we are left with from many sources is a trail of smearing and sneering.

Minority Thought adds:

The presumption of innocence is a vital part of the British justice system and is something that certain newspapers claim to hold dear, and rightly so. Yet almost all of them, from the Daily Mail and The Sun to the Daily Mirror and the Telegraph, have treated him as if he were guilty.


  1. Thanks for the mention and welcome back! Hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

  2. I think the next person to help the police with their enquiries should be flamboyant dresser, sometimes girly haired Grayson Perry, he seems to fit the bill, or the Bill's profile of a perfect suspect- haul him in now. Oh no, he never threw a pen at school pupil, forget I said it.

  3. First off, Happy New Year and welcome back, I do hope you don't have much to blog about this year but we all know that won't come true. ;)

    I remember one of the news channels (I think it was BBC) paper review segment going on about the coverage of him being treated as though he is guilty. They said the papers were digging up pictures of him from decades ago and mentioing totally pointless, harmless details about his past, such as he once had a blue rinse in his hair. The presenters were saying how trivial it all was and suggested the papers should show some restraint. After all none of it would suggest he was a murderer anyway!

    Of course if this man is innocent his life is already ruined by the media. He'll never see an apology for having his private life splashed over the papers and he'll forever be deemed a weirdo. If a fair trial in a court of law decides he is guilty then so be it, but there would still be no reason for the papers to act as they have been doing.

    These journos don't give a toss about the victim or her family, no matter how much they pretend to. All they want is a name, a face and a titillating back story they can link to a crime!

  4. I blame TV. Really.

    Once upon a time there was a show called Ellery Queen's Dectective Show. It was made on a very tight budget, so tight that they could generally only afford 4 actors. The Detective, the Sidekick, the victim, and ... any other roles that the story might require.

    Hence police and papers both automatically assuming that anyone else with a speaking part is most likely the murderer.

  5. I blame social media and the public's baying for blood as well. I wrote about it myself here


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