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Sussex S39 case:An industry view

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Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell said editors were extremely aware of their duty to protect children, and said cases such as the one in Sussex could pose a threat to open justice.

“It is disturbing to see a magistrate appear to suggest that editors do not take care on issues of this kind.

“Cases involving children are subjected to the most careful scrutiny at every level of the editorial process because editors and journalists share a responsibility to protect vulnerable children and are well aware of the legal minefield.

“This appears to be a severe reaction to a problem, suggesting that the media has a cavalier attitude to the law and the interests of children. That is patently not the case.”

He said editors’ responsibilities to vulnerable children were set out in the Code of Practice but at the same time the law was not designed to interrupt the flow of information through the media to the public.

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