Reporting crimes in Australia or Netherlands.

Upon reading this thread, and seeing this, posted by kambuckta:

“I find it interesting (read: disturbing) that in the US, all sorts of details about the case are released to the media before a trial has taken place. Such information is not available to the public here in Aus until such a time as the accused has been found guilty of said crimes. It not only prejudices any judicial findings, but even if the guy is found to be completely innocent of the crimes, his name will be forever blackened.”

I am not sure how to take this, mainly because I am not aware of the details of the law in Australia or The Netherlands. If a major crime has been committed, I feel it is the duty of the press to alert people of the incident. If there has been an alleged sexual assault, I feel the people have a right to be aware of this. Am I just reading this totally wrong? Or is a commited crime not allowed to be published until the end of the trial. What details are allowed? What details are not?

This is not a debate, or an IMHO statement. I am genuinely curious just how much information is allowed to be printed?

The laws in Australia, similar to those in New Zealand, refer to matters discussed that may or may not be sub judice.

From this page.

Fixed link to the thread referred to in the OP

Not with reference to Australia or the Netherlands (but the OP seems to mention those countries specifically only because people from these countries posted in the original thread):

The issue is probably less reporting the crime at all in the media, but reporting the full names of accused and victims.

From what I am used in the German press, in the usual cases at most the first name and the first letter of the last name is reported, pre-trial and usually also in reporting on the trial, except in sensational trials for major crimes where the full names have become known to the public. Minors are afforded more privacy (usually the first name isn’t reported), and celebrites less.

I don’t know to what extent this is due to law and to what extent to newspapers’ ethics policies. My local paper is still more discreet, reporting that a 60 year old man from X-town has run over a 58 year old woman from Y-town, and that a 16-year-old baker’s apprentice and a 22 year old unemployed have been convicted of an assault (details given) on a 25 year old journeyman scaffolding builder. I assume this is because in small towns even first name and first letter of last name is enough for people to identify a person.

Unlike small communities in Texas, where if you spend the night in jail, even for Public Intoxication, an across the board type of offense for anyone the police thinks should go to jail, gets their name in the local paper.

At least I live in a big city. Although given a choice of places to stay, I would take a small town jail.

Thanks for the clarification.

As I posted in that thread, though, the names of the accused & accuser and details of crimes are reported in Australian news media, at least in the Sydney Morning Herald. I couldn’t find an article in today’s paper mentioning any crime that hasn’t yet been tried, but the article from yesterday (that I linked to in the other thread) about the swim coach that is alleged to have sexually assaulted one of his swimmers did state both the coach’s name and the accuser’s name.

If the law in Australia is not to do this, why is it done? Do the media routinely flout the law? Is there some technicality I’m missing here?

When I discussed this with my husband, who’s from New South Wales, he said, “What about Lindsey Chamberlain?” She was the woman of “A dingo ate my baby” fame who was accused (and later convicted, though the conviction was overturned) of killing her baby at Ayers Rock/Uluru. She was crucified in the Australian media before her trial.

He also said to ask the Australians about “Mr. Bubbles” - who is apparently a childcare worker who was accused of pedophilia and who was also “tried” in the media.

Another example - and I may be on shaky ground here, because this is from memory - is the shooter in Tasmania. Certainly his name and details of the crime were published before his trial??

I’m really not understanding the assertions made by kambuckta vs. the examples I’ve given.

I’ll try to find more examples in a little bit - I’m running a bit short on time right now - but if someone could address these, I’d find it really interesting.