WINOL: Features Archive

At the age of just 15, Paul Blackburn was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years. Presented, edited and produced by Tom Morgan.

Media Law - Year Three Notes Archive

A collection of posts looking at media law, including tips for journalists, case examples and information on the various codes of conduct. Click here for more.

American Election 2012 - US Embassy Report

Myself, Lee Jarvis, Sam Sheard and Kirsty McDonagh spent the evening at the US Embassy as part of WINOL's coverage of the 2012 American election.

Work Experience: The One Show

This blog post serves as a summary of what I got up to during my time at the BBC and also provides some information on how the One Show is run.

Work Experience: PC Advisor

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The first of these placements was at PC Advisor in London.

Work Experience: Basingstoke Gazette

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The second of these placements was at the Basingstoke Gazette.

HCJ Notes Archive: Year One and Year Two

A collection of lecture notes, seminar papers and seminar summaries from Year One and Year Two on the HCJ course at the University of Winchester

Friday, 29 October 2010

Journalism Now - Emile Zola

Photojournalism: 19th century origins / Emile Zola

Before exploring photojournalistic patterns and trends of the 19th century, it's worth establishing what photojournalism truly is. Essentially, it is the art of capturing a moment in time and crafting a story through the use of photographs. A true photojournalist, therefore, has the ability to capture a significant historical moment in time, using pictures that communicate to their audience exactly what took place. Many individuals look at a successful photojournalist the same way in which they would an accomplished artist. Emile Zola, a famous French political journalist and amateur photographer, famously stated: “I am an artist. I am here to live out loud”.

Emile Zola, who was born in 1840, made a significant impact on the world of Journalism with his open letter titled “J'Accuse”. The letter, addressed to the President of France FĂ©lix Faure, discussed the events surrounding the controversial conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an artillery officer pronounced guilty of treason. Zola's open letter ends in a series of blunt accusations, explaining that, in his opinion, Alfred was an innocent man. He writes: “I accuse the first council of war of violating the law by condemning a defendant with unrevealed evidence”. Zola's 'ignited protest', historians argue, spurred such a degree of public debate at the time that no other article published since has had the same effect. Before long, his open letter became one of global interest, leading to changes in both law and society as a whole.

As well as contributing to the world of political journalism, Zola was also a keen photographer. For him, there was one subject in particular that he loved to photograph – his family. There are a number of reasons why Zola's collection of photographs are so valuable, but primarily it is the fact that around the time they were taken the concept of amateur photography was yet to catch on. Incredibly, Zola was thought to have taken around 7,000 pictures in total.

Towards the end of the 19th century, technological advancement had a huge role in shaping photojournalism in the way in which we see it today. The arrival of technology such as roll film, smaller cameras, quicker lenses and portable light sources helped photographers to capture the pictures they had envisioned. With these new tools at their disposal, photographers could take pictures in areas which were previously impossible to shoot in. Locations with minimal light and subjects in fast movement could now be captured with ease, giving photojournalists the opportunity to capture the world with greater detail.

The halftone printing press process, which produced photos in full tonal range, completely altered the way in which photographs were printed. Prior to the arrival of the printing press, photographs could not be transferred directly onto a printed page. Magazines and other publications eventually took full advantage of the printing press, of course; using the technology to publish photographs reproduced to a particularly high standard. The Canadian Illustrated News, for example, is reported to have been the first publication to print halftone images.


1) 'Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach' – Kenneth Kobre
2) 'Chameleon Translations'
3) UGA Law

Saturday, 23 October 2010

WINOL 20th October Thoughts and Feedback

This is my second review of the WINOL broadcasts, and I can see that our feedback over the last show on the 13th has had a noticeable effect on this weeks edition.

Above all, the audio last week let the side down. This week, however, the sound is greatly improved. I can hear clearly what everybody's saying, both by the presenters and the reporters. Last week, there was also a slight lack of enthusiasm from some of the reporters. This week, this has been greatly improved. The reporters sound like they're genuinely interested in what it is they're reporting on and it makes the subject matter far more engaging for me as a viewer.

Continuing on the theme on sound, the audio from the Interviews conducted in this weeks broadcast was fantastic. Furthermore, the visual displays that introduce the interviewees remained on the screen for longer than in the last broadcast. I could clearly identify who was being interviewed, which was great.

I have 2 small points to make about the interview with Councillor Harry Verney. Firstly, the location of the interview is slightly odd. Perhaps it would have been nicer to use a more professional-looking or interesting setting. Secondly, Mr Verney is cut off mid-sentence at the end of the interview which meant I had trouble hearing the last bit of the feature.

As with last week, there was a nice variation in the stories discussed. This was a very well polished broadcast. Nicely done!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

John Locke - Seminar Notes


 "Idea is the object of thinking" - Locke doesn't believe that when we are born there is something already present in our brain. Locke is against the idea of innate knowledge, whereas Descartes believes the opposite. Locke does, however, believe in God. He states that God has given mankind the ability to discover knowledge.

"All ideas come from reflection" - Locke refers to the mind as 'white paper' and argues that knowledge comes from experience. "Observation (of external objects and internal operations) supplies understanding". It is from observation that knowledge originates.

"The object of sensation one source of ideas" - Locke is essentially saying that our senses act as the source from which ideas stem. It's all about our senses and what we conclude from what is it they show us. Locke calls the source of most of our ideas which are affected by our senses 'sensation'. If we use our senses, we will discover.

 "The operations of our minds the other source of them" - Knowledge comes from how we perceive and how we translate our own thoughts. Essentially, how we interpret our internal operations is linked directly to knowledge and understanding.

 "Not on the mind naturally, imprinted, because not know to children, idiots" - Children and idiots have no understanding. Locke basically argue that you can't imprint something onto somebodies mind if it isn't fully understood or perceived correctly. Something cannot be imprinted without you being conscious of it to some extent.

Locke - Knowledge comes from experience [Against innate]
Descartes - Innate ideas are placed by God at your creation [For innate]

Descartes said there are 3 substances - God, mind and matter. Spinoza disagreed, saying that thought and extension were both attributes of God.

We have the tools to learn from birth, but we learn from scratch.

"All our ideas are of the one of the other of these" - External objects 'furnish' the mind and how we perceive them shapes our understanding. New born = lack of understanding. As we get older, we develop our own ideas and sense of understanding.

Locke also mentions the 'soul' on occasions.

- The soul thinks even during sleep, but the memory does not retrain what is thought
- The soul is always thinking
- The soul has ideas that aren't derived from reflection

The soul holds the senses together. Locke seems to lean towards the idea that the soul and the mind are the same thing.

Locke thinks it's better to find something our for yourself rather than read it from a book and automatically take it to be true. He also states that our ideas are derived from

- Sensation
- Perception

Since we think by means of ideas, and ideas come from experience, it's clear that knowledge can't come before experience. "Perception is the first step towards knowledge"

- Knowledge of our own existence  is instinctive
- Knowledge of God's existence is demonstrative
- We have no knowledge except by intuition, reason and sensation

Social contract:

Linked to the idea that peoples dominate passions are aggressive (see links to Hobbe's points against a 'state of nature') The social contract explores the idea that higher powers such as the Government and the public have particular roles. Based on the concept that society favours having order and structure to being free and ungoverned.

State of nature / natural law:

By nature every man has a right to punish attacks on himself or his property, even by death. Laws of nature - A ready made knowledge of right and wrong. Suggests that the human race should aim for peace. Locke says that if a man has succeeded in killing your brother, you have a right to kill him. But where the law exists, you lose this right.

Life in state of nature is described as 'nasty, brutish and short'. If there were no government or law, we would experience 'the natural condition of mankind'. Hobbe's saw 3 reasons why a state of nature would result in constant war and conflict

- Without government, resources would be scarce, resulting in conflict.
- Individuals would try to pre-empt these attacks
- People would realise the advantage of having a reputation for strength.

Hobbes recommends / backs the idea of a dictatorship. Locke disagrees. The idea of having our rights stripped away is wrong.

'Law for Journalists' - Chapter 17 Raw Notes

Meaning of Words

  • An inference is a statement with a secondary meaning which can be understood by someone without special knowledge who 'reads between the lines in the light of his general knowledge and experience of wordly affairs'
The test of what words mean is again the test of the reasonable person. NOT the meaning intended by the person who wrote the words

The words must be read in full and in their contest. Juxtaposition is a constant danger for journalists, particularly for sub-editors and those dealing with production. Those editing footage must take care how pictures interact with each other, and with any commentary

  • An innuendo is a statement which may seem to be innocuous to some people but which will be seen as defamatory by people with special knowledge
The libel claimant who argues that he/she has been defamed by an innuendo must show not only that the special facts or circumstances giving rise to the innuendo exist, but also that these facts are known to the people to whom the statement complained of was published

Bane and Antidote

Just as a defamatory meaning may be conveyed by a particular context, so a defamatory meaning may be removed by the context. A judge in 1835 said that, if in one part of a publication something disreputable to the claimant was stated that was removed by the conclusion, 'the bane and the antidote must be taken together'

Lord Nichols, another of the law lords, warned that words in the text of an article would not always be efficacious to 'cure' a defamatory headline. 'It all depends on the context, one element in which is the layout of the article. Those who print defamatory headlines are playing with fire'

Why might a media organisation be reluctant to fight a defamation action?
  • Uncertainty of how a jury will interpret meanings: The statement that seems to one person quite innocuous may, equally clearly, be defamatory to another
  • Difficulty in proving truth: Even if a journalist and his/her editor are convinced of the truth of a story, they may be unable to prove it in court. Witnesses may be reluctant to give evidence, for example
  • Huge damages could be awarded if trial lost: Libel damages are normally determined by a jury. We do not know how such juries reach their decisions, but there is little doubt that in general they find it a difficult and confusing job and some how awarded huge sums
  • Huge costs: The damages award is frequently exceeded by the legal costs, which are generally met by the loser
  • It may be better to settle out of court: Faced with high figures for costs and damages, some may decide to settle out of court by payment of agreed damages
Errors and Apologies

Sometimes publication of the words that cause the libel problem are not the result of a conscious decision but the result of an innocent error.

This results in a solicitors letter from 'the other side' which may lead eventually to a High Court libel hearing

Sometimes, publishing an apology or an inadequate correction can itself, in certain situations, create a further libel problem

The most common cause of libel actions against media organisations is the journalist's failure to apply professional standards of accuracy and fairness. The best protection against getting involved in an expensive action is to make every effort to get the story right

It's often useful to approach stories like so. Remember:
  • Who am I writing about, will they sue?
  • Is what I am writing potentially defamatory?
  • Do I have a defence?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Lecture 3 (Raw Notes)

(Lecture summary will be uploaded shortly)

John Locke - Key figure for Journalists. Also a key thinker when it came to the 'social contract'
(1632 - 1704)

* Historical context of his writings
* The Social Contract
* Human understanding

The times he were living in influenced in P.O.V:

* Civil War 1641 - 1651
* Cromwell rules as a dictator
* Restoration of Charles II 1660
* The Exclusion Bill Crisis 1678 - 81
* James II - 1685 - Catholic king
* Glorious Revolution 1688 - William of Orange. (It was around this time Locke came back after fleeing from Europe originally)

On a side note, Locke wrote most his books in Europe.

Social Contract:

Hobbes - Leviathan - State of Nature

* People's dominate passions are aggressive - People acting on their passions will produce a state of war
* A leader is chosen and given huge power
* Power comes from the people but they give up all their power to the ruler "mortal god"

Hobbe's was cynical - Believed dominate passions were aggressive. Everybody was acting on their own selfish needs which would end in war. Hobbe's said we need to create a mortal god. We have to create a Leviathan. (Reference to a beast of enormous size and power)

Once we have chosen a person, they are absolute - They protect us from people outside the country / state, as well as the unpredictable people closer to us. God did not choose a ruler, we did.

[Hobbe's is advocating/recommending a dictatorship]

* Locke's treatise of government
* First treatise - Attacks the concept of the "divine right of Kings"
* Locke also attacked Hobbes (He's saying it's not right to implement dictatorship where all our rights are stripped away. He didn't believe that when we were born there was something already present in our brain - Innate. Descartes thought the opposite)

State of Nature - Everybody enjoys natural freedom and equality but obey natural laws

* The laws of nature were moral laws which every man knew intuitively - A sort of ready made knowledge of right and wrong. "Interwoven in the Constitution of the human mind" - Discovered by reason, which comes from God.
* Locke DID believe in God. He said that we don't know anything but we have senses that suck in content - Our ability to think comes from the senses, from which we can work out natural laws

Locke - There is no idea in your brain that hasn't come from experience. We will discover natural laws. If we use our senses, we will discover and accept.

(You have the right to life, liberty and property)

Manual for Revolution:

Locke proposed a concept of government by consent and limited by law. Its powers mainly used for the protection of property. He insisted that taxes could not be imposed without the people (Parliament) consent. He believed that citizens could rebel if their government ceased to respect the law. Referred to tyranny of James II.

It meant that Locke was suggesting that their right of revolution was one of the natural rights of man.

* Hobbe's said that once a ruler was elected, they can do what they want


* Locke says if a ruler oversteps the boundaries, they should be removed! (The right of revolution is a natural right - This concept is very dangerous. Politically crucial when it came to the American War of Independence.

Human understanding:

Locke believed that our understand comes from our experience, which is worked on by our powers of reason.

* Against the concept of 'innate ideas'
* He thought that God had given mankind the ability to discover knowledge and morality so that innate ideas weren't needed
* When matters of faith go beyond reason and experience - Individuals should be guided  by private revelation, but these revelations should never be imposed by the church or state.

Locke - Religion should never stray into politics. If there's a conflict, keep your beliefs to yourself.

Innate ideas:
Plato's forms - Soul becomes aware of the forms and so knowledge before birth
Descartes - Ideas imprinted by god

Newton: (Believed they are ways you can understand universal ideas)

Locke saw himself as "humber-under labourer". Clearing the ground for scientists such as Newton.

* Start of englightened science
* Ascent of man

Principia - This book was a mathematical demonstration of the Copernican hypothesis.

Newton - The universe is knowable. There are rules that enable us to understand the universe. Netwon was attacked by the Cartesian school.

* He said that the orbits are controlled by gravity. For the Cartesiens, that sounded like magic! An old-fashioned concept.

The History of Western Philosophy - Chapters 10-17 Raw Notes


Spinoza is the noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers. Intellectually, some others have surpassed him, but ethically he is supreme.

The Dutch government, with its usual liberalism, tolerated his opinions on theological matters, though at one time he was bad odour politically because he sided with the DeWitts against the House of Orange. At the early age of forty-three he died of a lung condition.

Spinoza's political theory is, in the main, derived from Hobbes, in spite of the enormous temperamental difference between the two men. He holds that in a state of nature there is no right or wrong, for wrong consists in disobeying the law.

Hobbes is opposed to all rebellion, even against a bad government

Descartes was a many-sided man, full of intellectual curiosity, but not burdened with moral earnestness.

The metaphysical system of Spinoza is of the type inaugurated by Parmenides. There is only one substance, 'God or Nature'. Descartes admitted three substances – God, mind and matter. Spinoza would have none of this. For him, thought and extension were both attributes of God.

Everything, according to Spinoza, is ruled by an absolute logical necessity. There is no such thing as free will in the mental sphere or chance in the physical world. Everything that happens is a manifestation of God's inscrutable nature, and it it logically impossible that events should be other than they are.

In God, who alone is completely real, there is no negation, and therefore the evil in what to us seem sins does not exist when they are viewed as parts of the whole.

Spinoza's theory of emotion – The human mind has an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of god.

Spinoza, like Socrates and Plato, believes that all wrong action is due to intellectual error. The man who adequately understands his own circumstances will act wisely, and will even be happy in the face of what to another world would be misfortune.

According to Spinoza, whatever happens is part of the eternal timeless world as God sees it; to Him, the date is irrelevant. His outlook is intended to liberate men from the tyranny of fear.

Spinoza does not, like the Stoics, object to all emotions. He objects only to those that are 'passions' I.e. those in which we appear to ourselves to be passive in the power of outside forces. He also says that God is not affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain, and also says that 'the intellectual love of the mind towards God is part of the infinite love wherewith God loves himself'

Wrote The Ethics

Spinoza's metaphysic is the best example of what may be called 'logical monism'. He thought that the nature of the world and human life could be logically deduced from self-evident axioms; we ought to be as resigned to events as to the fact that 2 and 2 are 4, since they are equally the outcome of logical necessity.



An individual who was somewhat mean about money

Leibniz based his philosophy on the notion of substance, but he differed radically from them as regards the relation of mind and matter, and as regards the number of substances

He also held that extension cannot be an attribute of substance. This was because he felt extension involves plurality, and can therefore only belong to an aggregate of substances

Leibniz was led to deny the reality of matter, and to substitute an infinite family of souls

In contrast with Spinoza, Leibniz made much of the free will allowed in his system. He had a 'principle of sufficient reason', according to which nothing happens without a reason; but when we are concerned with free agents, the reasons for their actions 'incline without necessitating'

Leibniz brought into their final form the metaphysical proofs of God's existence.

Leibniz has 4 arguments that support the existence of God:

1 – The ontological argument
2 – The cosmological argument
3 – The argument from eternal truths
4 – The argument from the pre-established harmony, which may be generalized into the argument from design, or the physico-theological argument (as Kant calls it)

Leibniz argues that every particular thing in the world is 'contingent' – It would be logically possible for it not to exist; and this is true; not only of each particular thing, but of the whole universe

He was a firm believer in the importance of logic, not only in its own sphere, but as the basis of metaphysics. He also based his philosophy on two logical premisses, the law of contradiction and the law of sufficient reason.

There is a general belief that it is better to exist than to not exist. Leibniz clearly held this view, and thought it part of God's goodness to create as full a universe as possible.

Leibniz is the best example of a philosopher who uses logic as a key to metaphysics

He rejected mononism largely due to his interest in dynamics, and to his argument that extension involved repetition, and therefore cannot be an attribute of a single substance.

Philosophical Liberalism

Men who are far more familiar with books than with affairs are apt to over-estimate the influence of philosophers
A new error has arisen by reaction against the old one, and this new error consists in regarding theorists as almost passive products of their circumstances, and as hardly having any influence at all upon the course of events

Early liberalism was a product of England and Holland

It stood for religious toleration; it was protestant.

It valued commerce and industry, and favoured the rising middle class rather than the monarchy and the aristocracy; it had an immense respect for the rights of property.

Early liberalism was optimistic, energetic, and philosophic, because it represented growing forces which appeared likely to become victorious without great difficulty

The general pattern of the liberal movements from 17th to 19th century – The philosophers of Greece were not individualists. They thought of a man as essentially a member of the community. Plato's Republic, for example, is concerned to define the good community, not the good individual.

Early Liberalism was individualistic in intellectual matters, and also in economics, but was not emotionally or ethically self-assertive

The conflict between King and Parliament in the Civil War gave English-men, once for all, a love of compromise and moderation, and a fear of pushing any theory to its logical conclusion

Locke's Theory of Knowledge

The apostle of the Revolution in 1688, the most moderate and the most successful of all revolutions

His chief work in theoretical philosophy, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, was finished in 1687. Published 1690.

Locke's father was a puritan, who fought on the side of the Government

Locke himself disliked both Scholasticism and the fanaticism of the Independents

He completed his work in theoretical philosophy just at the moment when the government of his country fell into the hands of men who shared his political opinions

Locke's philosophy in Russell's opinion – Locke is always sensible, and always willing to sacrifice logic rather than become paradoxical

A characteristic of Locke, which descended from his to the whole Liberal movement, is lack of dogmatism. Love of truth, which Locke considers essential, is a very different thing from love of some particular doctrine which is proclaimed as truth

Reason, as Locke uses the term, consists of two parts
  • An inquiry as to what things we know with certainty
  • An investigation of propositions which it is wise to accept in practice, although they have only probability and not certainty in their favour
Locke, as a rule, is contemptuous of metaphysics
The conception of substance, which was dominant in the metaphysics of his time, he considers vague and not useful, but he does not reject it wholly. He allows the validity of metaphysical arguments for the existence of God, but he does not dwell on them, and seems somewhat uncomfortable about them.

Locke thinks in terms of concrete detail rather than of large abstractions.

He may be regarded as the founder of empiricism, which is the doctrine that all our knowledge is derived from experience.

The first book of The Essay is concerned in arguing that there are no innate ideas or principles. In the second book he sets to work to show, in detail, how experience gives rise to various kinds of ideas

Our ideas are derived from 2 source:
  • Sensation
  • Perception
of the operation of our own mind, which may be called 'internal sense'. Since we can only think by means of ideas, and since all ideas come from experience, it is evident than none of our knowledge can antedate experience

Perception, Locke states, is 'the first step and degree towards knowledge, and the inlet of all the materials in it'

The third book of the Essay is concerned to show that what metaphysicians present as knowledge about the world is purely verbal. All things that exist are particulars, but we can frame general ideas, such as 'man', that are applicable to many particulars, and to these general ideas we give names

Chapter VI of book 3 is concerned to refute the scholastic doctrine of essence. Things may have a real essence, which will consist of their physical constitution but this is in the main unknown to us, and is not the essence of which scholastics speak. Essence, as we can know it, is purely verbal; it consists merely in the definition of a general term

Locke tells us we have 3 kinds of knowledge of real existence:
  • Knowledge of our own existence is intuitive
  • Our knowledge of God's existence is demonstrative
  • Our knowledge of things present to sense is sensitive
Essentially, we have no knowledge except by intuition, reason and sensation

Locke aimed at credibility, and achieved it at the expense of consistency. He admits that devout believers often commit sins which, by their own creed, put them in danger of hell.

He also states that liberty depends upon the necessity of pursuing true happiness and upon the government of our passions. He says repeatedly that morality is capable of demonstration

Locke's Political Philosophy

A – The Hereditary Principle

In the years 1689 and 1690, Locke wrote his two Treatises on Government, of which the second especially is very important in the history of political ideas

The first of these is a criticism of the doctrine of hereditary power. It is a reply to Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha.

Patriarcha begins by combating the 'common opinion' that 'mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection'.

The truth, according to him, is quite different; it is, that originally God bestowed the kingly power upon Adam, from whom it is descended to his heirs, and ultimately reached the various monarchs of modern times.

Filmer derives political power, not from any contract, nor yet from any consideration of the public good, but entirely from the authority of a father over his children

Locke had no difficulty in demolishing Filmer's arguments. Locke points out that if parental power is what is concerned, the mother's power should be equal to the father's.

According to Locke, hereditary cannot be accepted as the basis of legitimate political power.

B – The State of Nature and Natural Law

Locke begins his second Treatise on Government by saying that, having shown the impossibility of deriving the authority of government from that of a father, he will not set forth what he conceives to be the true origin of government

Locke beings by supposing what he calls 'the state of nature'. In this state, there is a law of nature, but the law of nature consists of nine divine commands, and is not imposed by an human legislator.

What Locke has to say about the state of nature and the law of nature is, in the main, not original, but a repetition of medieval scholastic doctrines

Throughout the Middle Ages, the law of nature was held to condemn 'usury', i.e. lending money at interest. Church property was almost entirely in land, and lawnmowers have always been borrowers rather than lenders

In Locke's theory of government, there is little that is original.

In regard to the state of nature, Locke was less original than Hobbes, who regarded it as one in which there was war of all against all, and life was nasty, brutish, and short.

To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they see fit, within the bounds of the law of nature; without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man”

The state of nature, according to Locke, was evaded by a compact to create a government

Some parts of Locke's natural law are surprising. For example, he says that captives in a just war are slaves by the law of nature. He says also that by nature every man has a right to punish attacks on himself or his property, even by death. Property is very prominent in Locke's political philosophy, and is, according to him, the chief reason for the institution of civil government.

In a state of nature – so, at least, Locke holds – if a man has succeeded in killing your brother, you have a right to kill him. But where Law exists, you lose this right, which is taken over by the state. We may then identify 'natural law' with moral rules in so far as they are independent of positive legal enactments.

C – The Social Contract

By nature, Locke says every man has the right to punish attacks on himself or his property, even by death.

There is political society there, and there only, where men have surrended this right to the community or to the law.

Absolute monarchy is not a form of civil government, because there is no neutral authority to decide disputes between the monarch and a subject; in fact the monarch, in relation to his subjects, is still in a state of nature. It is useless to hope that being a king will make a naturally violent man virtuous.

Absolute monarchy is as if men protected themselves against pole-cats and foxes, 'but are content, nay think it safety, to be devoured by lions'.

D – Property

Locke's principle dicta on the subject of property:

We are told first that every man has private property in the produce of his own labour – or, at least, should have.

He states that a man may own as much land as he can till, but not more

In Locke's days, the position of the rural labourer was mitigated by the existence of commons, on which he had important rights, which enabled him to raise a considerable part of his food himself.

Gradually, owing to the growth of the industry, the position of agricultural labourers improved, since otherwise they could not be prevented from migrating to the towns

According to Locke, nine tenths of value is due to labour. It is labour, he says, that puts the difference of value on everything. He instanced land in America occupied by Indians, which has almost no value because the Indians do not cultivate it. The principle that a man has a right to the produce of his own labour is useless in an industrial civilization.

E – Checks and Balances

In all well-framed governments, Locke says, the legislative and executive are separate. The question therefore arises: what is to be done when they conflict?

To some degree, though in veiled language, Locke recognises this fact. In a dispute between legislative and executive, he says there is, in certain cases, no judge under Heaven. Since Heaven does not make explicit pronouncements, this means, in effect, that a decision can only be reached by fighting, since it is assumed that Heaven will give the victory to the better cause.

Locke's political philosophy was on the whole, adequate and useful under the Industrial revolution. Since then, it has been increasingly unable to tackle the important problems. The power of property, as embodied in vast corporations, grew beyond anything imagined by Locke.

Locke's Influence

In Locke's own day, his chief philosophical opponents were the Cartesians and Leibniz. Quite illogically, the victory of Locke's philosophy in England and France was largely due to the prestige of Newton

In England, the philosophical followers of Locke, until the French Revolution, took no interest in his political doctrines.

England was potentially quiescent in their time, and a philosopher could be content to theorize without troubling himself about the state of the world. The French Revolution changed this, and forced the best minds into opposition to the status quo.

Locke believed pleasure to be good, and this was the prevalent view among empiricists throughout the 18th and 19th century. Locke, as we saw, is tentative in his beliefs, not at all authoritarian, and willing to leave every question to be decided by free discussion. The result was a belief in reform, but of a gradual sort.

The great political defect of Locke and his disciples, from a modern point of view, was their worship of property. But those who criticized them on his account often did so in the interest of classes that were more harmful than the capitalists, such as monarchs, aristocrats and militarists.


Is important in philosophy through his denial of the existence of matter

Berkeley was an Irishman. Presented at court by Swift, and Swift's Vanessa left him half her property. He formed a scheme for a college in the Bermudas, with a view to which he went to America; but after spending three years in Rhode Island, he came home and relinquished the project.

In later life he abandoned philosophy for tar-water, to which he attributed marvellous medicinal properties.

All his best work was done while he was still quite young. His writings after the age of 28 were of less importance.
Berkeley's argument:
  • One one hand, he argues that we do not perceive material things, but only colours, sound, etc., and that these are 'mental' or 'in the mind'
  • His reasoning is completely content as to the first point, but as to the second it suffers from the absence of any definition of the word 'mental'
  • He relies, in fact, upon the received view that everything must be either material or mental, and that nothing is both
He discusses the view that we must distinguish the act of perceiving from the object perceived, and that the formed is mental while the latter is not

Sensible objects must be sensible. A is a sensible object. Therefore A must be sensible.”.

But if 'must' indicates logical necessity, the argument is only valid if A must be a sensible object. The argument does not prove that, from the properties of A other than its being sensible, it can be deduced A is sensible.

Berkeley's empirical argument – Heat cannot be in the object, because 'the most vehement and intense degree of heat is a very great pain' and we cannot suppose 'any unperceived thing capable of pain or pleasure'

He thinks there are logical reasons proving only minds and mental events can exist. This view, on other grounds, is also held by Hegel and his followers

Thursday, 14 October 2010

WINOL 13th October Thoughts and Feedback

Earlier today during our 'Introduction to Journalism' lecture we took a quick look at the latest WINOL broadcast which was recorded yesterday. Below are my thoughts on this weeks show.

My first immediate thought was that the WINOL team have done an excellent job in making the broadcast look professional, authentic and engaging. The opening title sequence in particular is of a very high standard and I could easily see such an opening being used by national news channels. I was also impressed with the way in which the two presenters read the headlines and stories. Both students spoke with clarity and confidence, which again added to the authenticity of the broadcast.

Admittedly, the audio quality during some of the reports dipped slightly, which made it difficult to understand fully what was going on. The story of the Queen, for example, experienced this issue. Another issue I noticed with some of the reports (mainly during the football segment) was a slight lack of enthusiasm. The footage of the football was interesting yet the monotonous commentary took away from the excitement. However in saying this, what was said during the football reports was informative and well structured.

Despite these minor issues, I was impressed a great deal by the broadcast. The team clearly work hard at what they do and the results pay off. I thought the variety of camera angles were a nice touch, and the mini interviews carried out during the reports were also nicely done. All the stories touched on in the broadcast were interesting and nicely varied, despite slight differences in audio quality. The problem with dips in audio is that the broadcast becomes slightly less engaging when you're not 100% sure what's being said.

All in all, though, a great broadcast.

Monday, 11 October 2010

'Law for Journalists' - Chapters 18 to 22, 34 Raw Notes

Burden on the claimant:

A claimant has to show the court three things when suing for libel:
- The publication is defamatory;
- It may be reasonably understood to refer to him/her, i.e. 'identification'
- It has been published to a third person

It is useful for a journalist to remember what the defamed person does not have to prove.

First, the claimant does not have to prove that the statement is false. If statement is defamatory, court assumes it's false. Secondly, claimant does not have to prove intention. It is normally no use the journalist saying "I didn't mean to damage this person's reputation". Thirdly, claimant does not have to provide any proof of actual damage

Claimant needs to prove that the published matter identifies him/her as the person defamed. Some journalists believe that they can play safe by not naming the person, but such an omission may prove no defence.

It is also important to note that it is dangerous to make a 'half-hearted' effort of identification, particularly in reports of law cases.

E.g - Case of Newstead v London Express Newspapers Ltd [1940] in which the Daily Express reported that 'Harold Newstead, a 30-year-old Camberwell man' had been sent to prison for nine months for bigamy. It was argued that the newspaper had 'recklessly struck out' the occupation and address of the person convicted.

Defamation of a group - If a defamatory statement refers to someone as being a member of a group, and includes no other identifying detail of that person, all members of the group may be able to successfully sue for defamation, even though the publisher intended to only refer to one of them.

In terms of publication, the claimant must also prove that the statement has been published. There is no defamation if the words complained of are addressed only to the person who they are made (with the exception of criminal libel)

Internet publication - In 2005 the court of Appeal held that it would be an abuse of process for a claimant  to bring a libel action over material on the Internet unless 'substancial publication' in England could be shown.

The section 1 defence:

Newsagents and booksellers have enjoyed a defence of innocent dissemination, saying they are merely the conduit for the passage if the words complained of and thus not responsible for them. But this defence was not available to others, such as distributors and broadcasters.

A court deciding whether a person took reasonable care, or had reason to believe that what he/she said did caused or contributed to the publication of a defamatory statement, shall have regard to:

- The extent of his/her responsibility for the content of the statement or the decision to publish it
- The nature of circumstances of the publication
- The previous conduct or character of the author, editor or publisher


It has been suggested that the justification should be renamed truth, because its requirement is that the published matter complained of can be proved in court to be substantially true.

Justification = Difficult defence to use because in a defamation action it is not the task of the claimant to show the published words were untrue. The burden of truth is on the defendant - the publisher - to prove that they were true

Justification means proving not only the truth of each defamatory statement but also any reasonable interpretation that may be understood of the words and any innuendos lying behind them

E.g In 1987, Jeffrey Archer was awarded £500,000 against the Star newspaper, which said that he had paid a prostitute for sexual intercourse. It was true that Archer had paid £2000 to the prostitute to go abroad to avoid scandal but he claimed the article implied he had a sexual relationship with her.

In considering reports linking a claimant with criminal conduct, the courts recognise 3 levels of meaning:

- The report may mean the person is guilty of the criminal offence (Level 1 meaning)
- or he or she is reasonably suspected of the offence (Level 2 meaning)
- or there are grounds for an investigation (Level 3 meaning)

The reason it is defamatory to say a person is reasonably suspected of an offence is that it implies conduct on the person's part that warranted the suspicion, so if you are to succeed in a plea of justification you must show conduct on the person's part giving rise to the suspicion.

Avoid implying habitual conduct - To say of someone 'He is a thief' may be true but in the simple meaning of the words. But if the basis for the statement is just one conviction for stealing a packet of bacon from a shop, a defence of justification might fail.

The defence of justification is not only difficult; it can also be dangerous. If it fails the court will take a critical view of a media organisation's persistence in sticking to a story which it decides is not true, and the jury may award greater damages accordingly.

The Investigative Journalist

- Make sure of your witnesses
- Are they going to be willing to give evidence?
- What is the standing of your witness?

If the journalist is working on a story that may be challenged in court, he/she should persuade the witness to make a signed statement at the time and date it.

Make sure you keep the evidence

Privilege - There are occasions when the public interest demands that there is complete freedom of speech without any risk of proceedings for defamation, even if the statements are defamatory and even if they turn out to be untrue. These occasions are often referred to as privileged. Privilege even exists under common law and statute.

- Reports must be fair
- Reports must be accurate
- Reports must be contemporaneous
- Protection only for reports of proceedings

Qualified privilege - Available as a defence where it is considered important that the facts should be freely known in the public interest. There is privilege at common law for the publication of defamatory statements in certain circumstances.

Accord and satisfaction

'Without prejudice'

A complaint to a media organisation may be made by a telephone call to the editor or to another member of the staff; by a letter from the complainer direct, or from his/her solicitors.

Furthermore, Journalists speaking with someone complaining about a story need to distinguish between
- Discussions over an offer to publish a follow-up story or a correction, and
- Discussions over settling a claim

The birth of the defence - The Reynolds defence, put simply, protects the publication of defamatory material, provided that it was a matter of public interest and that it was the product of 'responsible journalism'

Defamatory statements can be dealt with in the civil courts. But law still exists for libel to figure in the criminal courts. In theory the defamer convicted of criminal libel could be sent to prison.

To sustain a prosecution for criminal libel the words must be written, or be in some permanent form, but there need be no publication to a third party. A further difference between criminal and civil libel is that it is a crime to libel a class of people, provided the object is to excite the hatred of the public against the class libelled.


Under this law any words that are likely to disturb the internal peace and government of the country constitute seditious libel. The tests to determine whether words constitute a seditious libel are:

- Do they bring the sovereign or her family into hatred or contempt?
- Do they bring the government and Constitution of the United Kingdom into hatred or contempt?
- Do they bring either House of Parliament, or the administration of justice, into hatred or contempt?
- Do they excite British subjects to attempt, otherwise than by  lawful means, the alteration of any matter in Church or State by law established?


The most obvious difference between libel and slander is that libel is in some permanent form, while slander is spoken or in some other transient form. The exceptions are:

- A defamatory statement broadcast on radio or television, or in a cable programme, which by the Broadcasting Act 1990 is treated as libel
- A defamatory statement in a public performance of a play, by virtue of the Theatres Act 1968

In slander, as with libel, there must be publication to a third person for a statement to become actionable. There is one further difference between libel and slander. Whereas actual damage will be presumed in a libel action, it must be proved affirmatively by the claimant in a slander action, except in four cases:

- Any imputation that an individual has committed a crime punishable by death or imprisonment
- Any imputation that an individual is suffering from certain contagious or objectionable diseases, such as venereal disease or leprosy: the test is whether the nature of the disease would cause the person to be shunned or avoided
- Any imputation of unchastity in a woman
- Any statement calculated to disparage an individual in his office, profession, calling, trade, or business.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

'Law for Journalists' - Chapters 1 to 7 Raw Notes

McNae’s 'Essential law for Journalists' Notes – Chapters 1 to 7

- Chapter 1 -

Compared to other countries, the UK's journalists have a fairly high level of freedom in terms of what they can say and what they can get away with

'Free press'. 'Journalists have no right in UK law distinct from those of other UK citizens'

Freedom of expression – 'Unlike other countries, the UK has no written constitution, so the rights of its people are said to be residual'. In other words, constitutional position is that its citizens are free to do whatever law does not prohibit

The law must find a balance between being free to expose controversial news and an individuals being able to defend themselves / their reputation. The law of defamation tries to find this balance.

The 'rule against prior constraint' – Developed in the UK to safeguard freedom of expression against forms of censorship

The main sources of law have traditionally been custom, precedent, statute.

The Human Rights Act 1998 – Prior to 2000, UK law did recognise fundamental human rights, having evolved over centuries to do so. However, a general right of privacy did not previously exist in UK law.

For journalists, the most important part of the convention is Article 10, which says in part 'Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority'

Solicitors advise the client. Prepare the clients case, taking advice when necessary from a barrister specialising in a particular branch of the law. They may represent their clients in court, but in the past have generally been allowed to do so only in the lower courts. (The magistrates and the County courts)

Barristers are so called because they practice at the 'bar' of the court. Wear a wig and gown in the Higher courts, the Crown courts, and in the county courts, but not in the magistrates courts.

Regulation – OFCOM – Office of Communications, has the power to fine a broadcasting organisation which breaches regulations. Can close down 'pirate' broadcasters.

The UK's newspaper are not subject to any statutory control on who owns them. As a result, they are free to be politically partisan.

- Chapter 2 -

Standard of proof in criminal law – For anyone to be convicted of a criminal offence guilt must be admitted or proved 'beyond reasonable doubt'. This principle is often referred to as 'the presumption of innocence'.

Arrest without warrant – Police can arrest a person who has just committed, or is committing, an offence, or is about to commit one, or anyone for whom there are reasonable grounds for believing the arrest is necessary to achieve one of the purposes specified in the act.
Summons – 'A summons is a formal document, issued by a magistrates court, setting out one or more crime allegations in similar detail to a charge. It can be served on someone by being handed to them, being left at their address or by post. It requires them to attend the court on a specified date to respond to the allegation'

Arrest warrants – Magistrates can issues these, if sworn, written information is laid before them that a person has committed an indictable offence, or any summary offence punishable by imprisonment. It is a formal document in which a magistrate empowers any police officer to arrest the suspect wherever he/she is located in the UK

There is a risk of libel in media identification of crime suspects.

If, at the stage of discovering someone is being investigated by the police, the media publishes the suspects name or other detail identifying him/her in this context, the suspect could successfully sue the media.

A media organisation may decided to take the risk of publishing such news if it feels the person is unlikely to sue.

E.g – Politician or celeb. May not wish to alienate the media by suing.

One court proceedings have begun, a court may make an order forbidding the identification of a witness in any media report of the case.

- Chapter 3 -

Criminal offences are split into categories which are as follows:

Indictable-only offences – These are the most serious crimes, punishable by the longest prison terms (Murder, rape, robbery etc.) Can only be dealt with by a Crown court. Can also be referred to as 'triable only by indictment'

Either-way offences – Can be dealt with either at Crown court or at magistrates. Magistrates court may decide a case is so serious only a Crown court can deal with it. Either-way offences regarded as being of a lesser magnitude of criminality than indictable-only crimes.

Summary offences – Compared to the other 2 categories, the issues dealt with here are fairly minor. People charged with summary offences have no right of jury trial, but generally benefit from being dealt with more quickly

Actus reeus – The act
Menz Reeah – The mental element of the crime. Was it planned?

Strict liability removes or strictly limits any legal defences to a prosecution.

- Chapter 4 -

Preliminary hearings

Indictable-only offences – Such cases are often of great media interest. In these instances, no formal plea is taken from the defendant at the Magistrates court, because this is done later, at a Crown court arraignment.
Either-way charges

These hearings are for decisions on bail, and in each case, for procedure which determines at which venue it will be dealt with. In such a preliminary hearing, the defendant is asked to indicate to the Magistrates how he/she intends to plead.

Plead guilty – Treated as a formal plead of guilty, convicted, will be sentenced by magistrate

Restrictions automatically apply to media reports of a preliminary hearing at Magistrates court of either-only or indictable cases. The restrictions govern media coverage. Helps prevent the publication of material that could potentially create prejudice.

Restrictions in the 1980 act specify what can be published:

The name of the court
Names, addresses, occupations of the parties
The charge/s
Name of legal representative
'Arrangements as to bail'
Whether legal aid was granted

There are a number of examples of breaches of section 8. For example, the 2008 case of Jewish Chronicle Newspaper Ltd.

The media should be wary of reporting anything that suggests that a defendant will enter a mixture of pleas / any defamatory detail in denial of guilt.

- Chapter 5-

In Magistrates court defendants who face a summary charge are asked by the court clerk how they plead If they plea guilty, thereby convicted

Not guilty – A very minor offence may be tried there and then

A defendant convicted of an either-way charge in a magistrates court can be committed by it for sentence to the crown court if magistrates believe their powers are insufficient to adequately punish him/her

Section 8C – Under section 8C of the magistrates court act 1980 automatic reporting restrictions severely limit what can be immediately published from these pre-trial hearings in summary proceedings

The majority of cases will, as expected at the time that plea is made, be resolved in a summary trial, having at no stage much prospect of ending up in Crown court

The scope of the section 8C reporting restrictions: These automatic restrictions prevent the media from reporting the cases at magistrates court in which the defendant has formally pleaded not guilty.

Summary trials procedure:

Prosecutor can make an opening speech

Witnesses are then called to give evidence

Prosecution witnesses called first. Each asked questions by the prosecutor to elicit their evidence-in-chief

At end of prosecution evidence, defence may submit that there is no case to answer because the defence argues it is already clear that the prosecution cannot meet the standard of proof required

Any defence witnesses then called. They are questioned. Can be cross examined by the prosecutor

Binding over – Courts have the power to 'bind over' a person to 'keep the peace'. Can be used to resolve without trial minor allegations of assault.

- Chapter 6 -

Crown courts deal with the most serious cases

Types of crown court judges: High court judges – Wear distinctive red robes for criminal cases. Only they can try the most serious offences, such as murder

Circuit judges – They must be barristers of at least 10 years standing or be solicitors who have been recorders

Recorders – Part time judges. They have barristers or solicitors who have held 'right of audience' at Crown court. Usually referred to as the recorder

Crown court trial procedure – Media are free to publish immediately and fully what occurs in it when the jury is present in the courtroom.

Until the jury has returned all verdicts in the trial, no report should publish any matter discussed in court, or rulings made, while the jury was not in the courtroom.

After the jury is sworn, counsel for the prosecution will normally open the case in a speech.

Majority verdicts – A judge will initially advise a jury to arrive at a unanimous verdict on each charge.

- Chapter 7 -

Age of criminal responsibility – A child under 10 cannot be prosecuted for a criminal offence, because he/she is too young to distinguish between right and wrong

A juvenile accused on a crime may not be prosecuted. Instead, the police may issue a reprimand or warning.

Section 49 states that reports of youth court proceedings must not reveal:
The name
The address
The school

of a person under 18 who is 'concerned in the proceedings', either as a defendant or witness.

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