A new piece written by Emma Rich and I follows a twitter seminar we ran a couple of weeks ago. Here’s what we learned.
Piece published in the Huffington Post
Listening to the Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair’s ruling was a drawn out process with tweets indicating that Oscar Pistorius could have taken a flight around the world and arrive back in time to hear the verdict. But after a little under 2 hours, Nair granted Pistorius bail, which was immediately followed by an audible ‘Yes!’ from members of his entourage.
Granting Pistorius bail was no easy verdict to reach and at times it sounded as though Nair would have to just toss a coin, as there seemed compelling gaps in both side of the argument as to what really happened. Why had Reeva Steenkamp locked the door to the bathroom? Why didn’t Oscar Pistorius say anything before taking a shot? How could he have passed by the bed and not noticed she was out of it?
Equally, the lead police officer on the scene was given a telling off for having bungled a number of elements on the scene and for offering inconsistent stories, such as the nature of the steroids found or the distance of the witnesses who heard shouting were from the house.
Just over half way through the lengthy lecture on South African law and its history of granting bail that preceded the ruling, it became clear that the Magistrate considered that the prosecution had done enough to jeopardise the legitimacy of Pistorius’ bail appeal. However, it was the fact that Pistorius was not deemed to be a flight risk that seemed to clinch it for him.
When they started the hearing, I really wasn’t sure what to think still, but as it went through, I found Pistorius’ case increasingly credible and felt myself leaning towards the eventual outcome. There did not seem to be a sufficiently strong enough case against him at this point, even if there were serious peculiarities in his testimony, as reported by the Chief Magistrate.
At best, it looked like this was going to a case of someone behaving terribly wrecklessly, which may be a disposition born out of a life with a disability in a nation with a terrible criminal history and a predilection for gun ownership. These explanations were not given of course, but I expect they will come out in the trial. Chief Magistrate Nair mentioned that Pistorius offered an unusual amount of detail in his testimony for a pre-mediated murder case and that this was to his credit.
It is still hard to believe that Oscar Pistorius could be convicted for pre-mediated murder. All of the testimonies are generous to his personality, which is consistent with the status he has enjoyed over the years. In part, this is why the case is so fascinating, as it threatens to completely destroy our impressions of a person. Such public betrayal is always going to be big news. This is likely to be the trial of the decade.
This entry was initially published as a blog piece, but later in the Huffington Post
It was only a few days ago that the world of sport was talking about nothing but Lance Armstrong. However, the case surrounding Oscar Pistorius dwarfs any kind of doping scandal, past or present.
This month, I have an article published in The Walkley magazine, an insiders magazine for Australia and New Zealand media. The edition arrived in the post today and it’s a really nice publication with a whole section on the Olympics. I learned a lot from reading it. Rod Savage and Toni Hetherington from News Limited write about delivering their Games across ‘five screens’, when talk of a ‘second screen’ focused people’s attention for years earlier on the approach to Beijing. I’ll let you try to guess which are the five screens. Karen Barlow from ABC also proclaims that social media brought us together, noting Twitter’s role as a story source.
My article considers the lasting changes to the Games, resulting from how it was delivered via social media during London 2012, focusing largely on how social media stories became part of the news cycle within main stream press.
Last month, I had a photo essay published in the Dutch architecture journal S+RO.
Today, I published an article in the Guardian about how HE has been affected by the Olympic process leading up to London 2012 and what we can expect next. Heres’ the post in full
Today, I published an article with the Guardian Higher Educaton network, which discusses strategic decisions for researchers in preparation for REF2014 – the UK’s governmental research evaluation in universities. The piece draws together many conversations I’ve had with colleagues in the last few years about what matters when publishing. I’ve always been a staunch supporter of book chapters and edited volumes, but evidence from RAE2008 makes it hard to sustain a commitment to such titles. On balance, I’d advise people to focus on journal articles, unless they are too impatient to publish something.
latest article for the Huffington Post focuses on the politics, philosophy and potential of bioart.
Tomorrow – or later today if I find my password – I will publish this article on the Huffington Post, but here’s a sneak preview:
Professor Andy Miah considers why the UK Leveson Inquiry into Press Ethics should lead us to conclude that, while journalists shouldn’t be hacking our phones, we should be hacking theirs.
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