Government Controls of the Media

Government Controls of the media

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The Law of Libel

The laws of libel forbid the publication of an untrue statement about a person which might bring him or her into contempt, ridicule, dislike or hostility in society. An example of this where it has happened and the press have been liable for the damages created is the case of Madelyn McCann. The media made out that her parents had killed Maddy and were hiding the body. This was ruled untrue by thecourts and the press had to pay for all the damages that occurred as a result of this along with compo.

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The official secrets acts

The official secrets acts make it a criminal offence to report without authorization from the official government activity which the government defines as an official secret.  An example where this act has been used by the state is in relation to the phone hacking scandal. The police used the act to force the guardian news paper to reveal its sources on information that would have helped it further it case into the phone hacking scandal

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Defence advisory notice

Defence advisory notice or DA-Notices are issued by the government as requests to journalists not to report national security information which the government believes might be useful to an enemy- these usually concern military secrets and similar information

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Race Relations Act of 2006

 The race relations act and radical and religious hatred act of 2006 forbid the expression of opinions which will encourage hatred or discrimination against people because of their ethnic group or religious beliefs. This act was used to stop the burning of poppies in 2011 from extreme Islamic groups.

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The obscene Publication act

The obscene publication act forbids the publication  of anything that the high court considers to be oscene and indecent, and likely to deprave and corrupt anyone who sees, reads or hears it. Regina v. Hicklin was heard in 1868 is an example where this act was used to prevent his spreading anti catholic ideas throughout society.

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contempt and subjudice rule

Contempt of court and sub judice rule provisions forbids the report and expression of opinions about cases which are in the process of being dealt with in court law or likely to prejudice a fair trial

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Stormy Music


very helpful overview of government controls of the media.

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