Is Cameras in Pistorius Trial a Mistake

That’s what the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is asking, according to a phone call I got today. Naheem, with the CBC, said the network is exploring that question in the wake of the judge presiding over the Oscar Pistorius murder case deciding to allow camera coverage of the trial, which, Naheem said, will be a first in South African judicial history.

After about a half-hour conversation, Naheem thanked me for providing such great background information and said she would let me know if the network would want to include me in a program on the subject, scheduled to air on Monday.

In a follow-up phone call, Naheem said the producers had decided to go with a Canadian voice.

By the time she called back, I had projected myself all the way to serving as a consultant on the trial, complete with envisioning traveling to South Africa. Oh well, it would have been nice.

In truth, it was really nice to have gotten Naheem’s call in the first place.

As for the answer to the question, is allowing camera coverage of the Pistorius trial a mistake. The answer is, that all depends.

Multiple factors go in to that phenomenon.

One, is the rules and guidelines the judge and court establish.

Another is the media acknowledging, understanding and complying with those rules and guidelines.

Ensuring that members of the media will face meaningful consequences if they violate rules or don’t observe guidelines.

Yet, another how firmly the judge/court enforces said rules and guidelines.

Another is anticipating potential problems and situations before they occur.

An important one is including media input at the beginning of the trial and media accommodation. planning process, respecting their needs and the jobs they have to do and including those needs into the logistics and process as much as possible.

It depends on much more than that, that’s a start.

Great detail is in my book Anatomy of A Trial, which is available from the publisher, University of Missouri Press, and

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