By law you cannot show the face of a charged but not convicted person in the media in case they are innocent. Hence they draw or pixel.
This is not correct - not in South Australia at least.
The reason for the continued use of drawings is simply that the media doesn't get a chance to take photos of a defendant who is brought in via the back loading dock in a van from the police cells. If the defendant is out on bail, there's no point bothering with the drawing because they have to run the gauntlet of a media scrum outside the building when they arrive and leave.
In some cases, the courts may grant a suppression order preventing media outlets within the same state from disclosing the identity/image of a particular defendant, witness or evidence, and this is automatically applied to defendants or witnesses under 18 years old. Suppression orders are also typically ordered for offences where there are still other related investigations going on (e.g. as applied for a while in the case of Bernard Finnigan, recently found guilty for child smeg while a sitting ALP state MP in SA) but with the suppression order usually being lifted ahead of the trial unless there are unusual circumstances involved - like the Melbourne man whose sentence for incest
was recently appealed by the Crown. Pixellating images is used here to allow other content to break up what would otherwise be a very long piece to camera from the reporter, but without breaching suppression orders.
Every now and then someone makes a case that more suppression would be better, but I disagree with this. So long as the rules are well established and the media knows how to report on an ongoing case without prejudicing the proceedings, the current system is the best option in my opinion - or at least it is the least-worst option.
Suppression orders only apply as far as the state border, but they are usually respected nationally. The Bernard Finnigan case was an exception, once it started dragging on a bit too long a number of interstate newspapers published his name out of protest at the secrecy and the implication special treatment was being afforded to a state MP which an ordinary member of the public might not be able to access.
Once they are found guilty then their info is available for release. Should it go to appeal and be awarded then they get compensation or something like that.
Not if the media has correctly reported on the facts as they stood at the time and correctly disassociated themselves from the allegations being made. Again using the recently concluded Bernard Finnigan case as an example, the trial was quite widely reported upon at the time, but even if he appeals and wins he won't have any comeback against the media as they correctly reported the proceedings as they happened.
The coverage last night of Damien Mantach, the Liberal snot who embezzled money, had many photos of him, and the artists impression was mixed in amongst them. Given it looked nothing like him, what is the point of putting it there in the first place?
Exactly; so why bother drawing anything? It's completely pointless.
It's only of any real use where the accused is being remanded in custody, and therefore not running the gauntlet of the media scrum outside the court each day because they are getting driven into the secure loading dock.
Does anybody know if these court sketches are from an artist paid by Nine, a media pool or even the courts themselves? I'm not familiar with these details as applied in Victoria.
We may as well have drawings of The Wiggles …
That would be a great way for a media outlet to get sued!
We may as well have drawings of … Adolf Hitler.
That would be a great way for a media outlet to trash a trial and get a contempt of court conviction that even Derryn Hinch would have shied away from.