Monday, 4 February 2013

Big Bad Bob returns

Tomorrow during our regular two hour journalism class we will have a seminar on media law by the man affectionately known as 'Big Bad Bob Sokalski.'

I will be the first to admit and I think many of my Crecomm pals would agree that the Sokalski seminar we attended in year one of the program was not something that really stuck with a lot of us. Many of us were still debating over our own choice in majors and really hadn't written enough to be particularly worried about things like slander or defamation.

Well a year has passed and I am far more interested in what Mr Sokalski has to say to us this year. In the journalism major we have spent time in the law courts and the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry and have been learning about what we can and can not say in an article when it has something to do with a court case or the reputation of cops or even social workers. We have also learned when even a simple Tweet could cause a mistrial in a court case.

I have also had some very different experiences with my IPP trying to get information from the police about cold cases.

In the case of a missing person I covered recently, a police officer was doing everything he could to make sure I get as much information and pictures out of him as possible, while for a murder case I am covering now, the cops I have contacted so far barely want to say a word to me, and seem to be trying as hard as they can to get off the phone with me as quickly as possible.

I have also written articles where I had to be careful what I said or even the order in which I said it in order not to possibly cause some big problems for the paper I was writing for.

This is why I am looking forward to tomorrow's seminar. Now that all us J majors have gone farther into the world of journalism we are understanding more and more that these issues are extremely important for us to know and can have long lasting effects on our careers.