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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trial by media?

I firmly believe there is more good in human beings than bad. In a court of law an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Often though, the media report events in a manner that could permanently damage the lives of those accused, irrespective of their innocence or guilt. In the UAE, I find the identity of the accused is safeguarded by some newspapers using only the initials of the accused and not their names.

My mind is drawn to media coverage of two people accused of misbehaving on a public beach in Dubai. Even before the courts have had the occasion to try the case and make a determination, international media have published accusations, names, and photographs and virtually condemned the accused to a lifetime of ostracization.

Would it not be respectful of the courts and fair by the accused to await the decision of the courts?

Although the right to privacy is hotly defended particularly in the west, media intrusion is defended as a right to information.

In the past, those accused of sensationalism and undue intrusion into the private lives particularly of celebrities, were the tabloids. Today, the mainstream media appear to be following suit.

Could the mediated reality create a fundamental change in the way media itself is structured? Time will tell. Let’s wait and see.

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In Words

Loved and mentored by parents with values and discipline and a passion for good English; guided by teachers who wouldn't spare the rod to ensure excellence; copywriter; on-line journalist; editor-in-chief; and at long last, giving into the passion; Freelance Writer.

Nurtured in advertising and PR from freelance copywriter to account director and agency head; engaged throughout to humanitarian work in NGOs including the Red Cross and the UNDP; and experienced in both public and private sectors.

Looking forward to a future of writing on diverse subjects; sharing knowledge and experience; enriching the lives of others; but most of all, acquiring more knowledge and using it to make the world a better place for all.

More of my writing:
* Fuelling the Peace Process * Concepts for decentralisation of government * PEACE: Is it still an elusive dream? * Interview with the late Major General Trond Furuhovde first Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission * How polar bears are affected by global warming * Red Cross takes lead in clean water for Sri Lanka flood victims * The poorest hardest hit by Sri Lanka floods *