Law refreshers for Guardian staff in wake of juror tweet

Guardian News and Media is providing media law refreshers for its journalists in the wake of one its reporters being referred to the Attorney General after tweeting the name of a juror at the Harry Redknapp trial.

A GNM sports journalist later tweeted information about legal argument which was taking place in the absence of the jury, prompting the judge in the trial to ban the use of Twitter in court.

The incident occurred just over six weeks after the Lord Chief Justice issued Practice Guidance to courts saying that journalists and legal commentators would no longer have to make applications for permission to tweet, text or email from hearings.

Press Gazette, acting on information from a source, asked GNM whether it was correct that reporters can only Tweet from court if they have spoken to the legal team and attended a training course in the light of what happened during the Redknapp trial.

A spokesperson from GNM told Press Gazette: ‘The Guardian provides ongoing legal refreshers for editorial staff, including sessions relevant to court reporting, and we want to ensure journalists, especially those who may be tweeting, are reminded of the law in this area.”

The Guardian was not the only media outlet that breached reporting restrictions during the Redknapp trial.

The AGO has confirmed that it is also investigating an alleged court order breach made by a sports reporter from Talksport on 17 November 2011.

Press Gazette understands there were four other alleged breaches of court orders by sports reporters recorded by the Judicial Office but they are not being investigated: The Daily Telegraph on 24 November 2010, the Sunday Express on 12 June 2011, the Evening Standard on 5 July 2011 and The People on 11 September 2011.

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