The accused in the Claremont Murders trial will be tried without a jury.
The reason for excluding the jury is because it is extremely unlikely that the court would be able to find 12 persons unprejudiced by the media. The case is very well‐known, and has been extensively covered, ever since about 1996.
You might be surprised to learn that you count as ‘media’ in matters like these.
You might also be surprised to learn that, if you choose to post anything in any channel online about a case like this, that can be found guilty of contempt of court — sub judice — without anyone needing to prove that you did it intentionally.
This is critical for you to know, as a business publisher. Why? Well, one of business publishers’ favoured tactics is commenting on something in the media. If you time it right, and do it well, it’s functions as ‘newsjacking’: Gaining visibility by hijacking a current issue.
What many fail to realise is that they fall under the banner of ‘media’ for the purposes of legal proceedings.
Dr Joseph Fernandez, at Curtin University, pointed out in an article in WA Today just last week that the notion of ‘media’ encompasses everyone:
‘Media’ … comprises those who publish for a living and those who don’t, those who are obligated to a professional code of practice and those who are not.
Which further means that you need to be aware that there are very specific terms — like ‘accused’, ‘alleged’, and ‘claimed’ that are used for a reason.
You’ll note that even I, in this post, have referred to the accused as — well — the accused. Australia’s justice system is based on a presumption of innocence until proved to be guilty. Therefore, nobody is the ‘Claremont Killer’ until proved to be that way.
So, when you’re publishing whatever is going on in YOUR industry, be aware that you are considered media.
When you publish a Facebook post, you constitute The Media.
When you mindlessly publish a tweet, you constitute The Media.
When you publish a blog, a whitepaper, an eBook, you constitute The Media.
Being a publisher comes with Big Responsibility.
One of the biggest is knowing media law.
You might not be aware that I’m a member of the Communications & Media Law Alliance; that I’m also a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. The first keeps professionals like me up to date with these exact things. The second requires professionals to work according to a code of conduct that helps prevent them from making stupid mistakes.
Nobody is going to stop you from making a stupid mistake.
Except maybe us.
The paid way of preventing stupid mistakes is to sign up to our thought leadership writing service (https://brutalpixie.com/thought-leadership-writing-service); but the free way is here: