Friday 28 October 2011 by Waylandsmithy

Jo Yeates’ jurors putting tabloids through ‘living hell’ of avoiding sub judice for third day


Editors of tabloid newspapers are facing an ‘unbearable torment’ as jurors in the Jo Yeates murder case enter their third day of deliberations.

“This is inhumane”, admitted one editor. “We’ve had some really sensationalist articles lined up for weeks now, and still we can’t publish them.”

“Don’t these people know we’ve got extended families to undermine?”

In the past, journalists have used all their investigative talents to identify people with flamboyant hair, an interest in gothic poetry or unusually small eyes, and skilfully used these features to prove someone was guilty.

But recent libel payouts have put journalism back twenty years.

“We’re back to the bad old days of having to consider whether what we’re saying is true”, sobbed one anonymous hack.

“Or at least whether the fine for saying it is cost-effective.”

“Justice used to be so much simpler. You’d find a picture of someone smiling on Facebook and publish it next to a story of a grisly murder.”

“When faced with evidence like that, it’s obvious they’re laughing at the victim. You didn’t need extensive forensic reports or credible witnesses to know they were guilty.”

Jo Yeates Jury

But recent changes to privacy laws, high-profile libel cases and a growing sense of public disgust have made it increasingly hard for newspapers to secure a conviction.

“Suddenly we’re in a world of ‘trial by jury’ and responsible reporting on events in court. Why should the legal system have a monopoly on what’s right or wrong?”

“I’ve heard a lot of the judges are disgusting perverts, it’s in this article I wrote about them on page 12.”

Journalists are hoping that the trial of Vincent Tabak will reach a conclusion before Sunday, when the bigger, more expensive papers need shifting.

“If they find him guilty we’ve got reams of stuff we’ve made up about his relatives, it’s bound to sell thousands of extra copies.”

Newspaper bosses are keeping a brave face on the situation and are prepared for the worst if the trial is still on-going.

“We’ve photoshopped some pictures to show how much he looks like Anders Breivik, the Norwegian child killer: that’s just a coincidence by the way, it’s up to our readers to draw their own conclusions. Unless he’s found guilty, so we can do it for them.”

“There’s also a great editorial on how his name sounds a bit like a French cigarette shop, but we’re not actually claiming he can give you cancer.”

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