Friday, August 27, 2004

The pixellated face and other media ramblings

We have unusual application of laws regarding showing people's faces in the media in this country.

This morning I get on the Sydney Morning Herald website to read a bit of news, and they have a front page story about the trial of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay. It includes a thumbnail of a drawing by a court artist, and the face is blank. It's not Hicks, by the way, it is a judge. But it reminds me of a recent TV news report where they showed a similar court scene where the defendant in the court artist's drawing did have a pixellated face. The artist must really fancy his/her work.

And another thing bizarre. This bloke on trial at the moment in the Northern Territory for the killing of Peter Falconio. You can't escape his pixellated face being dragged into/out of court, into/out of cars, etc. The only thing is, he's previously been convicted of some horrid crime, and not two months ago, his un-pixellated face was being shown in every news report. Are we instantly to forget our memory of this? I know my memory is sh*thouse, so maybe they have something.

I don't disagree with the law, I imagine it's been designed to protect the identities of innocent people who have been charged with a crime. I just find it's use in practice strange.
The Sydney Morning Herald is soon going to start requiring on-line readers to register (for "free"). How very, very annoying. I am not too heavily into conspiracy theories, but I'd still like to know what's happening to my registration details.

SBS News have this policy of warning Aboriginal viewers when a news report is about to contain images of a dead Aboriginal, as they find this offensive. A few nights ago there was a report on SBS about the inquest into the death of William Hickey, and before the report they gave the necessary warning. However, the graphic behind the newsreaders face while she was giving this warning contained a photo of the boy.

Nice try, SBS, but poorly executed.

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