Last December, I mentioned that The Vancouver Sun had run a story on a little girl poisoned by GHB her father had brought home from a party. Despite a publication ban on the family’s identity, The Sun provided enough details that anyone with a web connection or a knowledge of Kitsilano could identify the father. It seems that The Sun is not alone in subverting publication bans. Darren Barefoot reports that The Toronto Sun (no relation to The Vancouver Sun) is practically helping to steer readers to a US blog that has breached the publication ban in the Canadian sponsorship scandal.
Barefoot suggests that these incidents make publication bans absurd. However, I’d argue that these media outlets are acting unethically, possibly jeopardizing defendants’ rights to fair trials and making it even scarier for witnesses to come forward. The editors of these media seem to think that they’re above the law and that they know best. They pick and choose among bans to breach. Note that no one identified the witnesses in the Air India hearings.
(c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.