It’s a relationship that’s been ‘completely dysfunctional’, characterised by a ‘churlish’ and ‘less-thanunderstanding’
attitude to the press. Journalists, in turn, have reflected that animosity right back.
No, not Ken Livingstone and the Mail.
descriptions come from Ken Macdonald, director of public prosecutions,
explaining how the criminal justice system and the news media seem to
constantly be at loggerheads.
It’s refreshing to hear a lawyer of
his standing say that the bickering has to stop and that he’s prepared
to do something positive to make that happen.
His speech at the
NPF, the journalists’ charity, touched all the right buttons. He made
clear that fundamental cultural change is afoot at the Crown
Prosecution Service – an organisation that many newspapers have viewed
as one of the most obstructive in the country .
He also pledged
that there should be a presumption towards disclosure of material to
journalists in criminal cases. He made clear that he had little time
for gagging orders and said he felt that more trust should be placed in
juries, particularly when it came to pre-trial publicity.
The signs are good that we could be on the threshold of a new era of openness.