Wednesday, March 07, 2007

There's Nothing To See Here, Just Move Along

As we were watching France's last hope crash out of the Champions League today, a disturbing story came across the SMiA newsroom. It seems that the French government, in their infinite wisdom, has banned the reporting and filming of acts of violence by non-professional journalists. That's right, you might face jail time if you witness a violent act in France and chose to film or broadcast it. And it gets better:
Anyone publishing such images could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (US$98,537), potentially a harsher sentence than that for committing the violent act. The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
Setting aside the inherent problems concerning the French government's need to give news sites their stamp of approval, there is a soccer component to this that should leave all fans of the game a little disturbed. Instead of being played two weeks ago, what if the Lille v. Manchester United in Lens were to take place next week, and a supporter (of either team), witnesses the crowd "troubles" and films it with their camera phone. Conceivably, that person could now be charged for committing a crime.

Does that sound right to you?

France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence [Macworld]

(via The Daily Dish)


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