ps -- sorry I read back a couple of posts and I see you are already mentioning this case. So you think someone should be thrown in jail for simply reporting on a trial. And that if you report on his imprisonment, YOU'RE committing a crime. I think you've lost perspective here.
I don't think so, prejudicing trials gives defence lawyers the opportunity to claim mis-trial which is a costly and time consuming process which is exactly what the judges are trying to prevent. I do agree that gag orders appear to be being used to often nowadays but with the modern media what else can one do?
There's a danger in letting the government decide who is a journalist. Courts in the US (aka "the colonies") have ruled that the first amendment applies to citizen journalists as well as staffers at the New York Times (who sleep with their sources to get scoops, as it turns out). A passerby with a smartphone who sees a cop misbehaving is every bit as entitled to first amendment protection as a credentialed reporter for some lying corrupt MSM outfit. This is as it should be. You don't want the government to license or approve of certain people as official journalists. That's the opposite of a free press. …
The government is not deciding who can or cannot be a journalist, the courts are trying to ensure, as much as is possible, that trial juries are not being pre-prejudiced which could cause a re-trial. Yaxley-Lennon was perfectly free to report what he thought about the trials after the verdict was reached and he was actually reporting on a continuation of a trial where he had already been given a suspended sentence for breaking the gagging order with respect to this case. Personally I think anyone who opens their 'report' with 'morning lads hope you got your prison bags ready and looking forward to long stay' or some such is far from reporting the news.
A passerby with a smartphone who records a cop misbehaving should be handing their evidence over to the victim's defence lawyers.
The UK doesn't have a first amendment equivalent, and in arising_uk's posts you can see how this makes free speech a lost cause in Britain.
It's not a lost cause, its just trying to balance it with the right of the accused to a fair and free trial without the 'renta-mobs' input. Personally I think one of the big problems with modern social media is exactly this kind of trial by Twatter, Wastebook and BoobTube.
I also didn't say he wasn't a journalist just that if he was then that makes BoobTube, et al publishers which is something they wish to avoid as they would then be subject to the publishing laws.