Showing posts from February, 2012

The tragic case of the perennial intern

I wrote this piece over a year ago in 2010, for the website Interns Anonymous. At the time I was unemployed, living in London and had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. This was my story...

In 2009 I graduated in Philosophy from a ‘red brick’ university. In hindsight I can concede that throughout my education my attitudes towards finding work were naive and ill informed. Like many young people I made the decision to study my subject of choice aged 17-18. As we know the economy was then in a rather healthier state, meaning that for a number of years graduates from good universities in all subjects had encountered less trouble finding employment. Consequently the advice I received from school and home was to either choose a subject which would lead directly to a career I was keen to pursue, or if I did not yet have a particular career in mind, to study a subject I had enjoyed at school. I chose the latter – accepting the prevailing “any degree is a good degree” philo…

Trial by media: how bad press can influence a jury

George Orwell once wrote of the English appetite for the perfect murder, “It is Sunday afternoon… Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder.”
This appetite has never been better exemplified than when Chris Jeffries, a Bristol landlord, was detained over the murder of Joanna Yeates in 2010. The media circus surrounding his arrest, and the sordid allegations published about his character, led to two tabloid newspapers being fined for contempt of court. Fortunately, Jeffries was released without charge and won substantial damages for defamation. Yet his case raised uncomfortable questions about the media’s conduct: Why does crime reporting tend to be so sensational? Could negative pre-trial publicity have the potential to influence a jury’s verdict? 
Gerry Conlon knows first-hand what it is like to be wrongf…