Caroline Overington ponders the arrest of an ABC news crew at the scene of the Black Saturday bushfires.
There are reports that an ABC Lateline reporter, thought to be Raphael Epstein, was arrested last night while at Kinglake, the site of Black Saturday bushfires.
Police say it’s a breach of the Coroner’s Act, because Kinglake is a crime scene.
I don’t know Epstein, but I do know this: a) when it comes to covering major events, he’s among the best; and b) when it comes to covering major events, we in the media must err on the side of the public’s right to know.
Access to Kinglake has been too restrictive.
I would’ve thought that when it comes to covering anything the media should err on the side of not breaking the law. Or does Caroline think that journalists are above the law? One of her commenters certainly makes a good point.
I would have thought that the right of the fire victims to have any alleged crime properly investigated trumps any “right” the rest of us have to know. If anyone, journo or not, buggers up a crime scene that would obviously compromise the work of the police and the coroner in trying to determine what happened. Anyway, the public’s right to know is more likely to be met, eventually, by the coroner than by a journo, even a good one, stumbling around a crime scene.