Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

February 25 2010

11:52

February 24 2010

19:58

Why was Simon Perry ejected from Newport coroner’s court?

Very odd scenes at the coroner’s court at Newport in the Isle of Wight, where VentnorBlog’s Simon Perry was ejected by the coroner’s officer – at first, according to Perry, on the grounds that he had suddenly ceased to be a journalist (VentnorBlog have a fine record of attending meetings and hearings), then as a member of the public on the grounds that the court was full; and finally, “Telling him that someone had offered to step out of the court to make a space for us, he said that would make no difference.

“When we asked [coroner's officer] Richard Leedham if this had ever happened before, he said he hadn’t heard of such a case.”

Perry is a member of the NUJ and his VentnorBlog is particularly well known for covering the civic affairs on the Isle of Wight. I’d go as far as to say it’s an example of best practice in local blogging.

But his position as a journalist is irrelevant here. The question is why a coroner can be allowed to adopt this attitude towards any member of the public who wishes to attend their court. The more attention this gets, the better.

More at Journalism.co.uk and VentnorBlog.

17:02

Local news blogger refused entry to coroner’s court

VentnorBlog, the well-established Isle of Wight news blog, found itself thrown out of a coroner’s court on Tuesday.

Coroner officer Richard Leedham told Simon Perry of the VentnorBlog, who is a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and who has been writing VB for over four years, that the coroner did not wish him to be in the court – as a journalist or as a member of the public.

The Isle of Wight County Press was allowed to stay, however. Richard Leedham told Journalism.co.uk that the coroner’s court would not be making a comment, but that a statement had been made by the coroner after VentnorBlog had left the room.

The case concerns the death of a woman on the Island in September 2008; the coroner court case has been postponed twice. VB wrote that it had been “led to believe that circumstances surrounding her death may be of public interest”.

Leedham directed us to the local newspaper, the Isle of Wight County Press for details of proceedings, but its story has not yet been written.

The VentnorBlog was informed the decision was to do with previous correspondence from the Coroner over another case. VB said it had made a slight amendment to a story in 2008, after being alerted to do so by a police press officer, but that the subsequent Coroner’s letter had been a private warning, with no further action taken, VB said.

After publishing a video made outside the court, and details of the eviction from the court, many of VB’s followers left comments encouraging VB to take further action. “Ventnor blog seems our one source of reliable info on the Island,” wrote one.

Bringing it back to the case itself, a commenter who says she is the daughter of the woman concerned, said she was glad the VB was ejected, and that she wished no media were able to attend the case.

In a reply to the commenter, VB’s Simon Perry said that “access to a coroner’s inquest is a basic and important right for the public and press. Without it there are no checks on people’s deaths. As no notes are published from the inquest, the only way that it can be understood and reported is by people / press attending”.

The VentnorBlog is now considering its next step: “We’ve yet to properly consider this. Being a tiny set-up, it’s hard to balance being forced to deal with something unwanted like this and still keep the news going on the site.

“The NUJ would seem like an obvious start and we’ll also be having a good look at the suggestions that our readers left in the comments on the story.”

“Nine plus years of NUJ membership would surely point to me not being fly by night like the ignorant accuse bloggers of being,” Perry added.

Similar Posts:



Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.
(PRO)
No Soup for you

Don't be the product, buy the product!

close
YES, I want to SOUP ●UP for ...