Inquiry judge Douglas Cunningham, however, said in a ruling Monday that Ursula Bennett and Don Barber, who wanted to record the inquiry as they saw fit, will be allowed access to the unedited raw video feed provided to accredited journalists by Rogers Cable.
(He noted as an aside that anybody could record the
“This access will promote freedom of expression, and allow Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett to report on aspects of the Inquiry that may not be covered by the accredited media,” said Cunningham.
He said what wouldn’t be allowed was the endless filming of witnesses and their facial reactions with hand devices, through weeks of testimony, even when they were not on the stand.
Cunningham also warned that citizen journalists would be liable under the same laws of defamation that guide accredited journalists.
“It cannot leave out important information that would give a different view of what transpired, embellish with circumstantial detail or select only fragments of material for their "spiciness.”
“While I cannot prevent biased reporting, it is not protected by our law of defamation and will not be condoned by this Inquiry,” said Cunningham.