Media Law - lets table some topics

Some interesting themes to explore and Mediabeak will be advancing views and analysis on Monday but here's what's up for discussion:

The plight of the McCanns and enduring mystery of what actually happened to Madeleine - will we ever understand the mysterious machinations of Portugal's judicial police (those who have not been sacked, suspended, retired or are under investigation) and whether the wall of silence (with its cracks, leaks and inconsistencies) will provide for and produce an investigation that delivers a result. The McCanns, perhaps feeling more secure now that they are on home turf are now letting out emotion and starting to tell us more about what we have previously been led to believe was detail that would prejudice the investigation or fall foul of the Portugese laws. Let's face it the laws are a joke and have served no tangible purpose in the investigation. So will the 'arguido' McCanns now be prosecuted for speaking out? Their risk is less than that of a discredited investigation. The UK system is not perfect and contempt laws are well overdue for some updating but at least it concentrates on the actual fairness of the process once you have someone in the frame rather than preventing discussion and publicity to help tace and identify someone worthy of arrest. So more analysis of this on Monday.

The Diana and Dodi crash inquest. Why has it taken so long and what will the outcome be. Will it be the paparazzi who are in the frame for hounding them and causing the tragic accident or was it no accident at all and are the paps easy targets to smokescreen something more sinister? Is the inquest likely to conclude our own security services had a hand in the 'accident' or that they knew it was likely and did nothing to stop it? There is that possibility but what are the implications and what powers does the inquest provide for. Let's discuss.

Its been fairly quiet on the libel front recently but it will be interesting to see the outcome of composer Keith Burstein's bid to take his libel case to the European court follwoing its rebuffal by the House of Lords here. Manifest Destiny was the opera that attracted the negative review but can successful libel actions be brought in respect of reviews. We'll look at this one.

Now on to TV and while BBC staff negotiate over cuts and whether their DG was actually a Dalek there's still the lingering spectre of monumental compliance failures with phone-ins and quiz shows. Yes, the reputation of Blue Peter was tarnished by this but from the Beeb through to other channels no one is off the hook on this. Did they really intend to rip viewers off - mmmm perhaps not knowingly but it doesn't take a genius to work out that the proliferation of things you can vote on , text in about, register your vote for are all altruistic add-ons to programmes to allow for engagement with the public. Crap. They're there to make money so Mediabeak's preliminary findings are that both the broadcasters and viewers are bullshitting when they claim not to have been conscious that these services made broadcasters - or subcontracted call companies money and cost callers. Ofcom and ICSTIS have their work cut out to stamp on this.

And on to privacy - well following remonstrations earlier in the year we've got Kate and Wils back in love so they need to make sure they make room for the camera.

More on Monday....