BBC Radio 4's today programme was very relevant to what I've learnt about libel cases. There was a good arguement about how privacy, comtempt should be regulated on the Media show.
Today they covered the story of Chris Jefferies who had a ssubstantial libel payout, due to being made to look guilty of murdering Joanna Yeates. This was not a fact, he hadn't been proven guilty. The Sun and The Mirror were in contempt of court. His character was 'assisanted' by the papers, and he may have well of been convicted.
A spokesman from the the Scotsman paper said it was a 'mistake' and 'human error'. For papers that are not profit making it's hugely significant when hit with a financial penalty, but for those papers who are making a lot of profit these penalty's are not that important. But reputation is important.
I've learnt that there is something called the PCC, public complaints commision.
The court said Chris Jefferies reputation was completely destroyed, allegations he was a pedophile, stalker etc for which he has received libel damages. The whole scheme of justice is being distorted because witnesses didn't want to get involved.
Watch out...Journalists must be careful that when they write something it must not deter witnesses from coming forward.