A British editor is at the centre of a political storm following the resignation of a Bahamas cabinet minister whose friendship with model Anna Nicole Smith threatened to bring down the government.
Immigration minister Shane Gibson stepped down after John Marquis, managing editor of the Bahamas daily The Tribune, published pictures showing him in close embrace with Anna Nicole in the bedroom of her luxury home in Nassau, the country’s capital.
The editor, a former West Country editor, has been threatened with court action by lawyers who allege the photographs were stolen from Anna Nicole’s Nassau home after her sudden death in Florida earlier this month.
But John said the pictures came from a “very reliable source” – and that he published them because of their possible political implications over Anna Nicole’s bid for Bahamian residency.
The controversial front page was shown on leading TV stations and in major newspapers all over the world.
Publishers of books, newspapers and films who glorify the exploits of real-life criminals should contribute compensation to the victims of crime from their profits, according to journalism ethics charity MediaWise.
It has written to the Home Office consultation on Making sure that crime doesn’t pay.
Director Mike Jempson said: “It is … important that the public, including victims and their relatives, know what payments are being made to whom, by publishers who stand to gain financially from such deals. These measures should help to put an end to lurid or sensational media coverage that risks retraumatising victims and their families”.
Although digital media offers citizens greater freedom of information, there are dangers that the information can be easily manipulated, an international conference on the press freedom dimension of new media has been warned.
Timothy Balding, chief executive of the World Association of Newspapers, said: “Citizens now have much greater control over how and when they receive information and, much more than ever before, they can react to it if they choose, they can participate and they can be active towards it.
“On the negative side, the internet has opened up extraordinary new possibilities for the widespread, damaging and sometimes dangerous manipulation of information which is difficult if not impossible to stem.”
EMPICS’ GameOn FA Premier League mobile service has won the Best Made for Mobile Infotainment for Sports & News Content prize in the 2007 Global Mobile Awards.
The judges reported the GameOn service as “a clear uncomplicated service that plays perfectly to the sports fan – it clusters together all the information you’d be interested in if you weren’t at the game itself”.
GameOn offers mobile consumers in-game coverage of the FA Premier League, using EMPICS’ ShootLive real-time photo delivery process to combine its pictures with live text commentary, official data and match information from PA Sport.