TV segment causes shorter sentence, channel seven, today tonight, kate, david smith, stalking, guilty, judge hampel, criminal damage, convicted, sentencing, court, jail, media, journalism, boundaries, helicopters, death

Today Tonight aired a segment involving a court case that was still to undergo sentencing.

TV segment causes shorter sentence

Last Monday, Channel Sevens current affairs show Today Tonight aired a segment involving a court case that was awaiting sentencing, which identified the convicted party.

David Smith had pleaded guilty to burglary, criminal damage and stalking and last Thursday was due to undergo sentencing until the segment aired on Monday night. He was moved to protective custody due to threats he had received after the segment aired.

Judge Hampel had no other choice last Thursday, but to suspend proceedings. Yesterday, Judge Hampel sentenced Mr Smith to three years and three months in jail. In passing down the judgement, she said that the sentence she passed down had changed after the case was featured on Today Tonight.

Read the full case details from The Age.

Opinion: Media need to butt out

The level of journalism in Australia has continued to diminish over recent years due to cut backs in the media ranks. The airing on Today Tonight on Monday night of a case which had not been completed in the courts is a prime example of the irresponsible reporting which needs to be stamped out. This irresponsibility has lead to a significantly shorter sentence for Mr Smith who pleaded guilty to burglary, criminal damage and stalking.

The blame for this type of reporting can’t land in the laps of the news readers or journalists, it goes right to the top of the management pole. The instructions are clear, get the story. Helicopters are sent to film the wreckage of car crashes, capture images of someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter being rushed into the hospital from an ambulance or a white sheet covering the body as in the case of seven-year-old Molly Lord who was killed in a quad bike accident on her parents property in July.

The media holds the general public to account, but who is holding them? Just have a look over the past month at the sporting landscape. During the 2011/2012 summer of cricket, the media talk was all around Ricky Ponting no longer deserving his spot. His statistics spoke differently and during 2012 he continued to produce innings better than any other Australian player who could replace him. Yet as soon as Summer hit, the media hounded him until he finally decided to step down. It is sad for a cricket enthusiast like me to accept. There is currently no one better to replace him and the only failure he has had recently was against South Africa, the number one team in the world. How would you play with so much media pressure on your shoulders?

There are lines and boundaries which need to be clearly set in stone. Journalists and their management need to be made accountable for their actions. It isn’t just about reporting a story, it is about being compassionate and using common sense.

Do you think the media oversteps the line? If so, is this a new trend?


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    6th Dec 2012
    Yes they do overstep the mark at times and some of the "journalism" is pretty slapdash. Thank goodness for Media Watch on the ABC.
    6th Dec 2012
    It beats me why, after the death of Princess Diana, and the neverending invasion of privacy of her sons and daughter in law, why the press continue their badgering of people, just because they are who they are.

    Then there are the stars, who clearly can't have any kind of private life - ever!!

    Just yesterday, with the announcement of the upcoming royal baby, on one TV channel, withing an hour or so was an item on the maternity wardrobe choice of Kate!! I mean, let the poor girl get over the rotten morning sickness first.

    As for Ricky Ponting, I thought it was hilarious when his little girl stole the show, she clearly made more of an impact than all the words her father uttered - after all, quitting cricket is no big deal, ( I personally think a lot more should do so). At least he wasn't put at risk - why? because he is only a cricketer I expect!!

    Oh, almost forgot - that bloody journo who took photos of a guy being pushed off a train platform and being killed, instead of at least making some attempt to grab his hand and save him - why? because he wondered if he would be pushed too!! I mean to say, the fact the guy doing the pushing let him get away with taking the pics sort of says he isn't taking. Then the moron actually sold the footage!! Shame on whoever bought this. It stinks all of it.

    There should be a rigid code of conduct for journos followed by a jail term for every breach of them.

    Is it any wonder we have no respect for the media? I think not.
    6th Dec 2012
    I guess it is up to us to stop reading the rubbish. So much is just a load of gossip one is expected to watch with baited breath. More important things going on in the world, but they do not make the headlines often. Bad news and gossipy rubbish is the bread and butter of journos it seems and becoming more so. While people keep watching it, reading it, buying it, they will keep churning it out to make a buck. :0)
    6th Dec 2012
    Trouble is, it's not easy to avoid - you only have to turn on your TV or radio and it is there coming out at you - endlessly annoying.

    I guess one sort of good thing, at this time of year we no longer get all the daily boring Tv shows, it's now all over to the golf, tennis. cricket!! Now is that not boring?

    To me it is, I would rather watch a movie any day, but not one made in 1955 or thereabouts. No wonder I'm heading west for Christmas!! At least the grandkids can keep me amused!
    6th Dec 2012
    I'll go along with that Reppie. yesterday afternoon, Channel 7 two, showed a film starring, wait for it, Jane Russell and Roy Rogers, 1952 !!! As regards Catherine Wales and her morning sickness, I saw a quick shot last night of the photographers outside the King Edward VII hospital. It was absolutely disgusting. There must have been a photo guy from every paper in the UK. I really really hope we aren't going to have daily updates on something every mother who is pregnant is facing every day; please spare us. And "crossing live to the hospital", come on TV media guys, it's not that important.
    6th Dec 2012
    Seems to me that Manners and Commonsense have all gone. Journalists these days spend there days chasing all manner of stories. Some good, some bad.
    But the stories that really do offend many people are those like sending a new team to Fiji to film the parents of a School kid going to collect his body. I'm afraid to say I turn off the TV channel that showed that event. Then you get to stupid DJ's making ficticious phone calls to UK hospitals pretending to be QE11 and Prince Charles asking for personal information re Duchess of Cambridge.
    What is wrong with our World, we are becoming the Laughing Stock, because of these Idiots.
    6th Dec 2012
    Bad enough that there is irresponsible reporting but has anybody noticed the lapse in grammar and correct pronunciation? Eg. vunerable as opposed to vulnerable, whatever happened to the letter 'l' . Media standards are certainly dropping all round!
    6th Dec 2012
    Michael oh the grammar - yes. Also the pronunciation of Australia as Austraya - really grates.
    6th Dec 2012
    I also mentioned the missing letter F in the commonly used 'fith' instead of the correct 'fifth but it appears to have been censured!
    Actual Cat
    11th Dec 2012
    And 'vunnrable' instead of vulnerable - and countless others. Kids used to have elocution lessons - all presenters need it but it's obviously not part of their training. As a teacher I was dismayed at the mispronunciation of young teachers - can you imagine being dismissed at lunchtime with "yous can go now guys"!!

    6th Dec 2012
    if things were sensible Judge Hampel should be able to charge Seven with contempt of court and fine them something appropriate like total advertising revenue for the day that episode of Today Tonight aired.
    As common sense has left the room may be a quick kick in the back pocket would make them think twice.
    6th Dec 2012
    The media definitely are running very close to the line here - and the scary thing is that with FB & Twitter etc, "media" comment is now a fact of life - so offenders will more and more be able to claim they wont get a "fair trial because of the media" AND, EVEN ARRANGE SOME OF IT THEMSELVES !!
    Pass the Ductape
    6th Dec 2012
    This is very much typical of the pathetic journalistic talent Channel Seven and it's producers often portray. I wonder anybody bothers to watch this TV Station at all- but if they do - then obviously, it has to say something about the state of their sheepish minds!
    Tom Tank
    6th Dec 2012
    I guess that fact is that the vast majority of the media exist to make profit for their owners. They play to the lowest common denominator, as per the TV stations, and get away with it because of the public's apathy. I would be the first to oppose controlling the media BUT they should be forced to accept responsibility for their pathetic reporting standards. Commercial TV news is a joke and how these news readers can consider themselves to be journalists as me beat.
    6th Dec 2012
    Vale Elizabeth Murdoch. In an interview several years ago, she was not happy with the lack of privacy given by her son's tabloids. Don't get me wrong - I like news but will never watch "Commercial" TV - don't buy magazines, and we now no longer buy a newspaper. It is all sensational and bad news. Yes, I am also getting so angry with grammar and miss pronunciation, dropping 't', 'd' in words and when did 'ing' become 'ink.
    7th Dec 2012
    Particarly instead particularly. Reconised for recognised. And also the 'breathy h. It's Aitch NOT Haitch.
    7th Dec 2012
    Nice one Annamaria but with the 'aitch' problem you are fighting a losing battle. I have not met a teacher yet that doesn't say Haitch !
    6th Dec 2012
    In many instances the Press has descended lower than the gutter I think they are often at the sewer level with their reporting In the case of Kate to speculate when the couple had intercorse that conceived the baby and to encourage gambling on when
    and where this occurred makes one wonder at the intelligence and moralls of the editorial staff who allowed this to be published the reporters who took notice of this invasion of privacy Now we have the Idiots who thought it funny to telephone the room that Kate was in no doubt in an effort to boost the numbers of listeners to their pathetic program
    6th Dec 2012
    Judge Hampel, only used this as an excuse to justify the, the under the lap, gratuity she received, like so many others, do. It is well known what happens, but they are above the law.Literally.
    6th Dec 2012
    Perhaps the lowest form of journalism is the sort where the journalists ambush people in the news-hound's quest for a spectacular story and ratings or sales. Channel 7 had a so called expose' where an NSW state minister was accosted by the journos leaving an allegedly gay night spot. The man resigned. In another case, some employees of the "holier than the rest," aka ABC, trawled through Ray Martin's rubbish bin and filmed the front of Martin's house, violating his privacy. This sort of irresponsibility in gathering "news" does nothing to enhance the prestige of the journalistic profession. This sort of thing was called muck raking in the 19th Century and lowers these people to the level of the papparazzi that are so roundly condemned in the media outlets.
    The loss of public respect for these people and their media organisations for countenancing these stunts can only diminish their credibility in the long run.
    6th Dec 2012
    If we don't buy the newspapers that publish irresponsibly, then maybe they maybe get back to having some ethics, Oh for some educated Journalists, who are intelligent enough to report fairly, we are sick of all the rubbish , I also no longer want a newspaper, and please save us from daily updates surmising about Kates expected baby, leave them alone, everyone on earth arrived the same fashion,so why keep on about it, we have a world full of strife and hunger, people living in poverty, and what makes news? a pregnacy!
    It is really sickening.

    7th Dec 2012
    Has it ever occurred to any of you critics that the scummy reporters just feed the taste of you critics? There was a Senior Policeman killed by an axe in his head yesterday at Windsor.
    If somebody had got an actual photo of the axe attack & published it, it would have gone viral. The media just feed the food requirements of you readers/watchers. You make some good points Sylvia, but the public at large could not give a rats if thousands of children die every week from starvation. At the end of the day, it is people that make me sick, not the media. If somebody could get their filthy hands on an utrasound of Kate's baby/s & publish it in the Telegraph tomorrow, the circulation would double.
    7th Dec 2012
    Not ALL of us "critics" Innes.
    7th Dec 2012
    I apologise Michael. I was obviously excluding you & me.
    7th Dec 2012
    7th Dec 2012
    As innes says they publish what sells

    and if it goes viral before they sell it they do not have a story
    11th Dec 2012
    They say anything to sell papers,they need to be more accountable,and say the truth and stop the lies.All media should be made to apologise when they make mistakes on stories.

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