back to article Hurry up with webcams in courts, says Sky News boss

Streaming trials on the internet will help people have confidence in the British justice system, Sky News boss John Ryley claimed in an open letter to the Justice Secretary today. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke promised to open up British courts to cameras eight months ago in a meeting with Sky, the BBC and ITN – but as yet only …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Jim 59

    In Court

    If I go to court, I am not sure I want to be tried in front of ten million people. That seems less in the interest of justice and more in the interest of Sky advertising revenue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good point

      'Innocent or guilty? Vote now! Full results and analysis of our viewers' verdict with Kate Burley at 5pm. Call now to upgrade to our Bangemupanthrowawaythekey 3D package.'

  2. MGJ

    'British' Courts

    Good luck with that one Sky News. That would be the Supreme Court as the only British court; Scotland has a separate legal system including different criminal and civil courts. You'd think that a major news organisation might know that, especially since one of their former staff is being considered for perjury proceedings in that jurisidiction at present.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: MGJ 'British Courts'

      Nearly there...

      As far as Sky goes, England == Britain == England.

      Look at how much the deal with the Scottish FA is. Compared to the Premier League, it is derisory. IMHO they are just paying lip service to Scotland. Well thay had to with the last Gov because blair (eduated in Edinburgh) & Brown (MP for somewhere north of old Reekie) would have complained a bit.

      {from an Englishman who spent 20 wonderful years working in Leith}

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        No different to the BBC then is it?

        Ever tried to see what the weather is going to be like anywhere in Scotland on BBC weather? It's a waste of time as they have taken the ludicrous step of applying false perspective to the map of the UK so that the London area looks huge (where they pretty much give street-by-street forecasts) and the halfwit presenters stand in front of the map when they're giving the "and in Scotland...." bit.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          They have to do that..

          to hide Scotland's massive collective "chip on the shoulder" from filling the screen.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Don't you just hate it when.....

          .... live National shows have hosts that continually moan about the bad weather (even if it's only bad in london) and also continually go on about what a great day it is (even if it's raining everywhere else)

        3. Jim 59
          Thumb Up


          Right on. Nothing sums up the parochial scope of the London media (excepting El Reg) better than that weather map. It really says it all. They would be shocked to learn that the vast majority of the population do not live in, near to, or ever visit London.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mr Murdoch

      I'll see you in court!

  3. PassiveSmoking

    Confidence in the justice system

    More like "We want to stream the freaks!"

    1. Paul Naylor


      Or perhaps the opportunity to make a new Sky 1 show entitled "Guilty or Not Guilty" - if you think the defendent is guilty, press Red now!

      I would have thought that this would damage the right to a fair trial, the cornerstone of the English legal system? And aren't journos already allowed to report on court proceedings, within strict parameters?

  4. Elmer Phud

    And today on Sky Court Premium . . .

    It just stinks of mudraking Murdochs.

    No doubt the Freeview version will be shoplifters while the murder cases are on Premium. Then we wil have Pay-Per-Perv for those special occasions.

  5. Christoph

    Will these broadcasts include

    ... the eventual trial of Murdoch for phone hacking?

  6. Lockwood


    On one side, it makes the public gallery bigger.

    On the other side:

    Coming up next on ITV-2: Judges: behind the wig, where we show what the courts don't want you to see


    Text GUILTY or NOT GUILTY to 61234, messages cost £1 or call 0906 123 0001 for Guilty, 0906 123 0002 for Not Guilty, calls cast 50p a minute from a BT line, mobiles and other operators may vary. Calls last 2 minutes.

  7. Peter Stone


    Did this article immediately bring a picture of the defendants wearing t-shirts/jump suits with adverts on them?

  8. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    If it really is for public interest

    and public scrutiny, then it should be (a) free to air (b) open so that any channel willing to transmit it can transmit it (no monopoly to Sky, BBC or anyone else). Nothing wrong with channels making some ad revenue.

    One of the pillars of democracy is that justice is both done and seen to be done. If this can generate more public debate of questionable laws, nonsensical police procedures, and inconsistent judgements, all the better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Justice seen to be done

      so long as there isn't an ad-break during the cross-examination of an important witness

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Lord Lien

    Why don't we just go the whole hog....

    ... & get Judge Judy to set-up over here.

  11. Sir Alien

    Problems with Sky (and others) in court.

    The problem is that Sky don't give two shits about who they are reporting on, even if they ruin someones life. If some random person accused me of rape/murder then I would want such a trial to be behind closed doors until a final verdict is presented.

    It has happened in the past where someone accused of rape was found to be falsely accused but in the end their reputation is screwed up and 99% chance he has already been fired from his job because of it, before the trial even ended. All because news reporters "leak" details of an ongoing trial.

    Cameras have no place in a court room. I think they are simply trying to copy the americans with their "Judge Judy" program. What they fail to realise is that is a SMALL CLAIMS COURT!

    Just put yourself in the accused shoes. You know you're innocent but regardless you have been fired from your job and many people you know don't want to know you anymore, including people looking weird at you and wispering behind your back that you were that rapist/murderer (even when you weren't)

    For the guilty, if you are confirm to be so, then fine but this must be looked at carefully still because even then mistakes happen and the court rooms / juries screw up.

    Image, because the government is being trolled by Sky

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      hold on

      "It has happened in the past where someone accused of rape was found to be falsely accused but in the end their reputation is screwed up and 99% chance he has already been fired from his job because of it, before the trial even ended. All because news reporters "leak" details of an ongoing trial."

      1) trials are already conducted in public. If a person stands trial for a crime, it's not a secret.

      2) except in extraordinary circumstances, newspapers are free to report on what is said in court in ongoing trials. There's no prejudice to the trial in naming the defendant, generally speaking, and so no contempt/sub judice type issues arise.

      3) I don't doubt for a second it's a Trojan Horse from Sky to get coverage of the full trial but there is an argument for saying that a judge's sentencing remarks should be broadcast. At that point, the person has already been convicted, the sub judice principles are irrelevant and the newspapers could reprint the remarks in full and say whatever they like about them.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Media chief feels justice system needs more celebrity

    There, Fixed it for you

  13. Phil Parker
    Thumb Down

    Two words: Christopher Jefferies

    Convicted by the media of murdering Joanna Yeates. Except it wasn't him, Vincent Tabak confessed to manslaughter and will be tried next month.

  14. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Webcams in courts ... Sky's next reality show TV frontier.

    Yet more reality show TV so Sky can continue to anesthetise the brains of their usual target audience.

    What will be learned?. Nothing, as usual, same with all reality TV. What will be gained by Sky?, advertising from zombified viewers being told what to think, as they watch their next 2 minute hate broadcast, which features as always an arrogant self-interested Narcissistic criminal being completely unapologetic about what they have done, whist gleefully enjoying their 15 minutes of fame and notoriety. Then once they have done their time, they can come back on the show as a returning reality show star, (which they will treat like a returning hero) just so they can let their fans know they are now reformed. (Only to get re-arrested within weeks of being free).

    NPD+HPD people would love to be on TV like this. But also, whilst on the subject of personality disorders, I find it interesting how two faced this self-interested Narcissistic Sky boss is showing he is behaving. The two faced liar knows he can use the court case information for more reality show style TV, but he wants to say its all about Justice. Bullshit, utter bullshit. He is lying. He wants more reality show style stories, so he can then pretend to show concern such as "Oh look at the suffering of the poor victims" meanwhile this two faced Sky News boss John Ryley is counting the increased advertising revenue from exploiting and then broadcasting the suffering of the victims! ... What a complete two faced bastard! … But then exactly what I would expect from anyone working high up in Murdoch's crumbling empire.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If we are now expected to mitigate for a defendant AND supply entertainment to Sky viewers, then lawyers should sign up with the Equity union to ensure they receive remuneration for that entertainment.

    Actors may need numerous 'takes' when they play lawyers - we get one shot - and a wasted costs order if we repeat ourselves!

  16. Ross 7

    Sentencing, fine

    Streaming sentencing hearings is fine (if you'll excuse the pun), streaming the actual hearing is utterly retarded.

    Imagine a case where someone says something they've been told not to say in front of the jury (a previous conviction for example). First of all they get slapped about by the judge, then the jury gets dissolved and they go look for 12 more ppl that are oblivious to what the first 12 folk were told so they can have a re-hearing.

    Now imagine that was on TV...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like